Large donation helps Salvation Army meet its campaign goal

(Photo Provided/WJHL)
(Photo Provided/WJHL)


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — It was a tough year for donations at the Salvation Army, but with the help of two donors, thousands of people will be helped.

This Christmas is bright for Bill Bean, a successful, well-known developer in Fort Wayne. But it hasn’t always been this way.

“We had no food, no tree, and there were no presents,” he said.

On Christmas Eve back when he was just a kid, he remembers listening to his mother and stepfather argue about money after his stepfather was laid off. Then, a delivery turned their day around.

“This lady who was dressed in traditional Salvation Army and the taxi driver were carrying in sacks,” he said.

They brought food and gifts from the Salvation Army, and even a tree.

“It went from being pretty bleak to really a nice Christmas,” Bean said.

Years later, Bean is able to return the favor. He and Bruce Dye, the CEO of Hotel Fitness, donated $100,000 to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.

The campaign was only at 58 percent of its goal, so the two decided to help out.

“Every time I’m able to help the Salvation Army I always think maybe I’m making that same type of difference to a family in the community,” he said.

He hopes that maybe this will motivate other people to do the same.

“If there’s opportunity there and if this story helps more people get involved I think that would be great,” he said.

For more information, visit the Salvation Army.