The familiar small bell sound was present Saturday morning in front of the Walmart Supercenter in Shelbyville. The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign officially kicked off for 2022.
“If you see one of the bell ringers and here the ding-a-ling going, please contribute to the fund,” said Major Connie Shaw of the Salvation Army, who was present on a cold, windy Saturday morning at Walmart, 2500 Progress Parkway. “This helps us not only at Christmas time but throughout the whole year.”
The Salvation Army has goals of raising $150,000 this holiday season through donations and has targeted $40,000 as its goal for the Red Kettle Campaign.
“Last year, we came in a little bit short so we really want to encourage people when they see the bucket, think about us and donate please,” said Shaw.
The funds raised throughout the holiday season help the Salvation Army stay in operations the entire year.
“We depend on this,” said Shaw. “This is what we use to function all year round. Not only the kettles but also the donations that come in through the mail, and through the online app. That supports us throughout the year for our feeding programs, our pantry.
“We had pantry (Friday) and ran out of food. We need that financial support. We need those donations as well.”
The Shelbyville Salvation Army is located at 136 E. Washington St. For more information on its services, or to deliver a donation, call 317-398-7421.
Bell ringers will be stationed at the Walmart Supercenter through Christmas. After Thanksgiving, there also will be bell ringers at Kroger supermarket, 1601 E. Michigan Road.
Bell ringers are needed to operate the kettles. To volunteer, go to registertoring.com and select a time.
“It will ask for your zip code and it will walk you through the process,” said Shaw. “They will notify me as to the days and hours you’ve picked and we will meet you at the kettle location.
“We have some groups that will dress up in dinosaur outfits, or as Santa and elves and make it a real fun time.”
Shaw wishes there were not the need for the Salvation Army’s services, but that’s not the reality of this holiday season.
“Our numbers are up. It’s unfortunate,” said Shaw. “We would love to be put out of business, you might say, but the needs are up. We’ve seen an increase in our Christmas applications for assistance for kids for toys. All the numbers are up. We definitely need to see our income come up as well.”
Photo: Salvation Army Major Connie Shaw, left, bell ringer Ronnie Ward, and Salvation Army Envoy Shannon Benner announce the kickoff to the Red Kettle Campaign Saturday morning at the Walmart Supercenter in Shelbyville.