For many people, the sight of The Salvation Army's red kettles dotting the cityscape and the sounds of bells ringing and change clattering signal the start of Christmas. Families in need have sought our assistance since 1904. In 2012, a record 250 families registered for Christmas help every day from October to the first week of November. In fact, the line stretched out around the building. All clients are residents of Mecklenburg or Union County, and many are hardworking single moms and dads. Some are grandparents, relatives, or caregivers. Others are unemployed parents, struggling to stay afloat. And some are elderly citizens who are stretching every penny. The times may have changed since our first Christmas, yet The Salvation Army is still the first call for families wanting help.