The first day of the Salvation Army's red kettle campaign is a little early this year to get fund-raising momentum started early, and bell-ringers say the first hours on Friday involved lots of kettle-stuffing.
“It sure has so far,” said bell-ringer Don Radle. “Yeah, surprisingly.”
He says he and his wife spend their time ringing and thanking donors in an effort to return a favor to the Salvation Army.
“We've gotten things from them when we were in need,” he said.
The timing is right on too, as Captain R.C. Duskin says the organization needs the money to fill its food pantry, and to run youth programs and help families with rent and utility costs.
Last year, Duskin says the campaign fell about $60,000 short of its goal. This year he's hoping for a better result.
“More people have been coming in for assistance and we just haven't been able to help in different ways.”
The kettles will be out until December 24, and the salvation army says it welcomes more volunteers. Right now, Duskin says he has about 20 people and groups committed to bell-ringing.
“We're going to be busy for the rest of the season,” Duskin said.
Don just hopes his time shows people that the Salvation Army does important work that can't happen without a dollar here and a dollar there.
“Seeing the pot get full, that's success,” he said.
It’s also letting a man who got the help he needed once upon a time give back one “ding” at a time.
The Salvation Army says it's always looking for volunteers. To sign up, click on the link below.