Red Kettle Campaign Kicks Off for Holiday Season, Bell Ringers Needed

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 3, 2023 at 1:38pm

A familiar sound of the fast-approaching holiday season began a little early this year in area stores.

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign began today (Friday) kicking off the organization’s biggest fundraiser that sets the tone for the following year’s work.

Captain Chris Clarke with the Jacksonville Salvation Army says there is a great need for bell ringers this season, and many locations off indoor kettles to keep from being out in the cold.

He says the Salvation Army has expanded the ways donations can be accepted, even for those who don’t carry cash. “On our signs, we do have a QR code that people can scan. Some of our locations are going to have these new systems that are called tiptap machines so people can donate with their phones. People can always donate by mailing in a check to the Salvation Army, they can give online and all those funds during this time of year that are donated go toward the Red Kettle Campaign.”

Clarke says locally the Jacksonville Salvation Army has a lofty goal this year because the need keeps increasing in the area. “We are looking to raise one hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars this year. It is a little bit more than last year, but the need has greatly increased. Some of our programs have seen a five hundred to eight hundred percent increase, especially our food programs.”

Clarke says the Red Kettle Campaign funds programs throughout the entire year, not just during the holidays. “Not only those holiday programs throughout the year but also different social services that we provide whether it’s rent, shelter or utilities, clothing or food. Really people can come to us for anything and we’re going to work to meet their needs.”

Red Kettles will be found this year in Jacksonville at Hy-Vee, Walmart, Midland Farm, Home, J.C. Penney’s, Walgreens, Beals, and Buchheit.

Clarke says anyone who wants to sign up to ring bells for this year’s Red Kettle Campaign can log on to register to ring dot com. He says they suggest a two-hour shift but there is no requirement and help is needed. To find out more information, go to the Jacksonville Salvation Army Facebook page or call 217-245-4440