Holiday shoppers will have more opportunities to give back this season.
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign kicks off soon, and Jacksonville Salvation Army Captain Chris Clarke says there will be more kettles in Jacksonville this year. “We actually added a few locations this year that we haven’t used at least in the past few years. So we’ll be at Buchheit’s, both Walgreens, and also we’re adding Bealls, which was formerly Burkes this year. We will continue at County Market, Midland’s, both doors at Walmart and JC Penney’s.
We start on November 9th at all nine area locations. We are excited to get that started and people have been signing up. We encourage people to continue to sign up by going onto registertoring.com or giving us a call so we can get them booked for whatever location, day, and time that they can volunteer to ring the bells.”
Proceeds from the Red Kettle Campaign make up nearly one-third of the local Salvation Army’s budget each year. Clarke says what you donate now to the red kettles helps support the community all year long.
“We certainly appreciate whatever people can put in. Your change or a check or whatever you can afford to give, it certainly helps throughout the year. Not only at Christmas time when we are helping to provide kids gifts for Christmas and families with holiday meals, but all year long through the many programs and services that the Salvation Army provides.
Whether it’s utilities or housing or shelter, but also just within the last twelve months, we’ve been able to provide over 600,000 pounds of food to our client choice food pantry and we’ve served over 15,000 meals through our free lunch program. So we’re certainly busy and a lot of people are coming to us for help. But we are certain that the community is going to back us and enable us to continue helping people throughout the year.”
The campaign runs from Wednesday, November 5th through Christmas Eve. Clarke says the Salvation Army is in need of volunteers to help ring the bells for a good cause this year. “People can sign up for any day of the week they’d like. We do have indoor and outdoor locations, so whether you want to be inside or outside that’s your choice. But you know you can get out there for an hour or two or someone might want to be out there all day. But anything helps. I would tell people just an hour is the equivalent of providing food for thirteen people or helping to keep someone’s lights on. So whatever you can do we certainly appreciate it.”
The Jacksonville Salvation Army’s goal this season has been set at $150,000.00 for the Kettle Campaign. To sign up to ring bells for the Salvation Army, log on to registertoring.com.
Those who do not carry cash can still donate to the red kettle campaign electronically by logging on to centralusa.salvationarmy.org or texting the word KETTLES to 51555.