SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The Salvation Army brings joy to the less fortunate every holiday season and all year round. The Sound of Hope red kettle campaign raises millions of dollars every year.
This time last year, Kelly Cain was on pins and needles, hoping to see her sons for the first time since she lost them because of a drug addiction.
"I will fly all that way to see them for one hour, for one minute, just so they know how much I love them," Kelly said.
It was the next step in a healing journey that began when she walked into the Salvation Army's arms about four years ago, heartbroken and alone.
"They didn't look at me like I was a drug addict, they didn't look at me like I was a bad mother. They didn't look at me like I was anything other than Kelly, and they looked at me and saw potential and just loved me," she said.
She was on a transformational journey, setting the stage for a Christmas reunion.
"It was awesome. It was hard because I hadn't seen them in three years and they had questions. But it was awesome, they knew I loved them," Kelly said.
And there's more love in her life now.
"I got engaged in April," Kelly said.
She married David Cain in August, and it was truly a family affair.
"I married my best friend, and my son, my oldest son walked me down the aisle and my youngest son was my ring bearer," Kelly said.
Kelly and David share a life and a mission. They're both in officer training with the Salvation Army.
"We sit in class next to each other, study at home together, do our field training together," she said. "We've both been helped and our lives have been restored through the efforts of the Salvation Army," she said.
Kelly hopes that when you see a red kettle, you stop and think about the profound difference a little charity can make.
"The dollars that go into the kettles provide hope for not only children who are gonna get a toy for Christmas, but provides hope for some people who have lost their way," Kelly said.