Idaho Thieves Steal Salvation Army Kettles

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The significance of the Salvation Army is more tangible at the holiday season as citizens are reminded of the Army's services for the hungry, homeless and spiritually wounded through the year.

In fact, proceeds from the Salvation Army Christmas kettles is a big slice of the organization's revenue.

"It's about 10 percent of our annual budget," said Maj. John Stennett, who along with his wife, Maj. Candy Stennett, serve as corps officers with the Salvation Army's Boise operations.

The Army even employs some of its bell ringers to supplement the thousands of men and women who volunteer to solicit donations.

"We're providing about 100 jobs during the Christmas season," said Stennett. "We would much rather provide some work than just a handout."

But police in Pocatello say thieves broke into the eastern Idaho Salvation Army office and stole several of the organization's kettles filled with donations. Law enforcement said burglars broke a window to enter the Salvation Army building either Dec. 22 or Dec. 23.

Police are uncertain how much money was stolen because the kettles had not yet been counted. The Salvation Army traditionally holds what it calls its "kettle count" on Christmas Eve.