A Clearfield woman has been livening up her shifts for the Salvation Army of Clearfield’s annual Red Kettle campaign through her use of costumes.
Margaret Hegarty said she has recently been manning the kettle at the Clearfield Mall dressed as an elf, a snowman, the Grinch and in Victorian-style garb that a Salvation Army staff member told her reminded him of Catherine Booth who along with her husband, William, co-founded the organization.
Hegarty said she was motivated to offer her services to the organization after COVID-19 restrictions took away the activities sponsored by agencies she had been volunteering for since she retired from Kurtz Bros. Inc., Clearfield, nine years ago.
“After I retired, I went out and got five volunteer jobs. I needed to get outside of my home and be around people. I thought, what can I do that I can contribute to society and will still provide me with some fun?” she explained. Some of those agencies whose activities were curtailed this year included the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging, Clearfield Hospital and the Red Cross.
She said she was doing some research about the Salvation Army and Catherine Booth and was inspired to offer to help the organization.
According to information on salvationarmy.org, in addition to serving as a successful speaker, Booth is also celebrated for her commitment to social reform and is known for her advocacy of better working conditions and pay for women workers in London’s match-making sweatshops.
“They met human needs without discrimination,” Booth said. “They continue to stand as a mighty example of how God is able to use ordinary people to do extraordinary things.”
“I read about Catherine and William and thought if they want me I can help,” Hegarty said, stating she received a call from the organization the day after her interview.
Hegarty said she thought about a trove of costumes she had — some of which she had planned to wear earlier this year while participating in the Clearfield Fair Parade that had to be canceled because of virus restrictions. She made plans to wear the costumes during her shifts.
Hegarty said her outfits earned her a number of comments, especially from the younger set. She reported she was able to wear her mask underneath many of her costumes.
“I want to thank all those people who are willing to do work for the Red Kettle campaign. They stand for hours, sometimes in all kinds of weather. So many have given much more than I have.”
Salvation Army of Clearfield Children’s Director Linda Swatsworth said donations from the Red Kettle campaign assists the organization with its annual budget and its mission to help the less-fortunate.