Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Captains Josh and Jen Polanco

Brooklyn Park officers fight for good

Added on Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Captains Josh and Jen Polanco are committed to helping The Salvation Army fight for good.

The Polancos are the leaders of The Salvation Army in Brooklyn Park, Minn. As Salvation Army officers (pastors), they stay busy year-round leading the facility’s many community outreach programs.

Christmastime is especially busy. The Polancos oversee 32 kettle locations in the northern Twin Cities suburbs – a six-day-a-week job that often demands 16-hour work days. Throughout the kettle season, they arrive at the office at 6 a.m. to gas-up vehicles, prepare kettle routes, and distribute kettles all over town. Oftentimes, they don’t get home until 10:30 p.m.

The days are hard. But the Polancos don’t mind.

“Seeing God do His miracles, and seeing people’s lives changed, makes the long days worth it,” Josh Polanco said. “We’re here to listen to stories, share in the pain of others, build relationships, and help people.”

The Polancos love hearing the stories of people who pass by the kettles. These people often include veterans who remember The Salvation Army from their time at war, or single parents who once received Christmas assistance from The Salvation Army.

hands of volunteer bell ringer“The kettle is a symbol and a visual reminder not just of what we do, but of the hope we provide,” Josh Polanco said.

No matter how busy the Polancos get during the Christmas season, they still make time to ring bells with their three kids multiple times throughout the kettle season.

“We call it ‘The Days of Kettles’ – it’s like an Advent calendar or countdown until Christmas Eve,” Josh Polanco said. “We’re tired, but we know what’s coming at the end of the season: celebrating the birth of Christ.”

The Polancos became Salvation Army officers so that they could fight for good all day, every day, 365 days a year.

“We felt that as a family, working with the Salvation Army would be the best place for us to serve the community and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20),” Josh Polanco said.

Poverty is an everyday battle that families don’t always win. Thankfully, there is an army of loving people like you who fight on their behalf. Your generosity puts food on their table, presents under their tree, and joy in their hearts. Join the fight for good by donating online or at a red kettle, becoming a volunteer bell ringer, or recruiting your own army of fundraisers at Learn more about how The Salvation Army fights poverty in your community.