Just in time for Groundhog Day ... introducing the Red Kettles of the Salvation Army.
Yes, those signature Christmastime repositories of goodwill are resurfacing Saturday in the Twin Cities, the same day that a certain groundhog issues his annual spring forecast in Punxsutawney, Pa.
The Salvation Army announced that the kettles will be positioned from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at most metro Cub Foods locations. The charity said the goal is to collect enough money to supply 300 families with heat this winter through its HeatShare program.
CenterPoint Energy is offering to triple all donations up to $30,000 made at the kettles and online at www.heatshare.org. The utility is also donating $3 for every view of the Salvation Army's video at the same website.
HeatShare is a last resort for people in danger of having their heat or power shut off.
Last year, nearly 40,000 Minnesota families requested HeatShare assistance, but only 4,200 received help due to lack of funding.
The Twin Cities Salvation Army sets out Red Kettles outside of the Christmas season in times of emergency, in recent years for such events as the Interstate 35W bridge collapse, North Dakota floods, Japan's tsunami and the Haiti earthquake.