SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Get ready to hear the bells and see the kettles outside of your favorite stores.
The Salvation Army is kicking off its annual Red Kettle Campaign. It’s a holiday tradition that started more than 100 years ago. It first started in California in the early 1900s. A man displayed a large pot and asked for food donations for the victims of the Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. Fast forward to now, it has become one of the largest fundraisers for The Salvation Army.
Over the next month, red kettles and Salvation Army volunteers will be outside more than 20 businesses across the Coastal Empire.
The donation is simple. All you have to do is throw a few dollars into the pot. The money raised from the Red Kettle Campaign will go to the Salvation Army to help people in the community.
If you can't afford to donate financially, the Salvation Army says they are always looking for bell ringers.
"We have more than 30 days and the numbers that we need are many. The trick is to find multipliers. We need one person who's willing to say, 'my group, I can head them up,' and come out and volunteer. And so, that person can get 10 or 12 of their friends and off they go to ring the bell," said Major Paul Egan, Corps Officer, Salvation Army Savannah.
If you are interested in volunteering, contact the Savannah Salvation Army.
The public was invited to celebrate this year’s Red Kettle Campaign kickoff. There was a holiday party at the Georgia State Railroad Museum in downtown Savannah. The event featured carolers, hot chocolate and other treats, as well as a European-like Christmas market.
“Without the community’s help, about 90 families, 90 to 120 families a night would not be in our shelter. The food that we serve provides meals to about 85,000 people a year. So those souls would go hungry,” said Salvation Army Director of Development Larry Haskell.
This year's goal is to raise $250,000.