Whether you’re gearing up for the traditional Black Friday sales crush or someone who chooses to wait until December to think about shopping for holiday gifts, one thing’s for certain: When you hear that bell ringing and see that familiar red kettle, you know the Christmas season is near.
For more than a century, the Salvation Army has been a fixture in communities all over the country, and its volunteers ring bells and stand watch over those red kettles that are waiting to be filled with coins and folding money outside retail stores in the community.
The local Red Kettle Campaign kicked off last week, and Capt. Josh Keaton of the local Salvation Army said folks will see the iconic kettle outside the local Walmart beginning this Saturday.
Of course, there will be kettles in other locations across Henderson, including the Rose’s store and Food Lion stores.
And each kettle needs volunteers – 15 to 20 volunteers for each kettle during the week, he said on Wednesday’s TownTalk. This year’s local goal is $75,000, Keaton said. There are about 25 kettle locations, and all donations stay right here in the area served by the Salvation Army.
Visit RegisterToRing.com to sign up to volunteer or call the Salvation Army at 252. 438.7107.
“Spots are filling up this year,” Keaton said, but “the more volunteers we have, the better off we are.”
Keaton said it’s important for young people to see others giving back to the community, and he said “the older generation is our driving force” when it comes to volunteers. Be it a civic group or church group, the older volunteers serve as a reminder to the youth to give back to the community, Keaton said.
“We can’t do what we do without our volunteers,” Keaton said – not just during the holidays when folks may feel more inclined to be generous, but throughout the year.
“I’m grateful to be a part of this community,” he said, adding that there is a great need, but also a great level of generosity which support the efforts of the Salvation Army.
Customers at area Walmarts can choose an Angel from the Salvation Army’s Angel Trees and shop right in the store for gifts for children and senior adults, Keaton said.
The Angel Tree campaign runs from Nov. 9 to Dec. 9. Keaton said he expected that more than 200 children will experience the joy of opening a gift on Christmas morning because of the Angel Tree project.
When you pass a kettle on your way into a store this holiday season and find yourself with no cash, don’t worry. The Salvation Army has got you covered. There’s a QR code that you can scan with your phone and make a quick payment through any of several online payment options.
“It seems to be working well,” Keaton said, adding that online payment options may add a convenience factor to holiday giving.
“We can’t continue to put our eggs in one basket,” he said.
Or, in this case, kettle.