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Girl realizes dream to man ‘red kettle’

<p style="text-align: left;"><strong></strong>photo by KENNETH FRY</p><p style="text-align: left;">Allee Little with mother Kristen Houck ringing the bells for The Salvation Army.</p>

photo by KENNETH FRY

Allee Little with mother Kristen Houck ringing the bells for The Salvation Army.

Every year, Allee Little of Alma has watched people put money in the “big red kettle.”

Allee told her mother Kristen Houck she wanted to be one of the volunteers to man The Salvation Army kettle at the Walmart in Alma.

The seven-year-old with cerebral palsy finally had her chance to ring the bells after the inclement weather Dec. 7 forced Allee and her mother to wait until Saturday to complete something she had on her bucket list.

Kristen stood by Allee as the two braved the bitterly cold winds, yet having fun as the two saw many of their friends pause to drop donations into The Salvation Army kettles en route to Christmas shopping. Allee’s first grade teacher at Alma Primary School, Angela Hickman, was one of those to make a donation.

Allee said she was too cold to consider why she was outside the Alma Walmart Saturday.

She just knew she had a warm place to go when she was finished while there were others who did not.

Kettle coordinator Jack Law had nothing but praise for Allee, who also is the daughter of Jason Little of Charleston.

“I was really impressed to hear how excited Allee was to ring the bell and help her community,” Law said. “She has a true servant’s heart.”

The Salvation Army kettle drive began in 1891 in San Francisco. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods. Kettles are now used in such distant lands as Korea, Japan, Chile and many European countries.

Allee had one bit of advice for The Salvation Army.

“I wish they did the little red kettle in the summer,” she said. “I bet they would have more volunteers.”