Badges, birthdays, and besties battle to save Christmas

MUSCATINE, Iowa–For her birthday this year, Pearl City Media Director of Public Relations Ashley Loveless wants nothing more than to help the Salvation Army of Muscatine County reach their Red Kettle Campaign goals. Motivated to do something big, she offered to spend her whole 36th birthday, Dec. 16, in the giant red kettle, with the goal of raising $3,600. ““The need is greater than ever this year, and I would spend every birthday in the kettle if it means someone gets a hot meal or a kid gets a magical Christmas!” she said.

As Loveless shared her fundraiser idea with some of her friends, she discovered that Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department Detective Jacob McCleary would also turn 36 this month. She invited him to join her and see who could raise $3,600 faster.

At about the same time, several members of the Muscatine Police Department had started looking into ways to support the Salvation Army of Muscatine County as well. Officer Whitni Pena had considered starting a virtual kettle when Loveless contacted her and encouraged her, along with fellow officer Angela Shoultz (a friend of Loveless’ since the tird grade), to join in this birthday fundraiser.

Together, the four have planned a fun competition to work towards their final goal: “This has turned into a friendly competition, but competition none the less. I am a competitor and I know for a fact Ashley Loveless is a fighter,” shared McCleary.

Loveless and McCleary (the birthdays) will face off against Pena and Shoultz (the badges) to see who can bring in the most money for the Salvation Army of Muscatine County. Each member of this group of besties looks forward to seeing who will take the title of top fundraiser.

“It gives me great joy to get to participate,” Pena said. “Everything goes to the Salvation Army–it’s all staying locally in our community, which is a plus.”

““In the end we are all on the same team, with that team being our community,” stressed Loveless. Come Dec. 16, she hopes to see a great show of support for the Salvation Army and all the good work they do across the county.

If you would like to donate to this battle of the besties and badges on behalf of the Salvation Army of Muscatine County, you can do so by visiting Loveless’ fundraising website