EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)–The start of the holidays means the start of a charity’s tradition. Around the country, Salvation Armies have started their annual Red Kettle Campaign fundraiser. But this year there’s less time for them to ring the bells.
“We’ve been ringing bells in Evansville for over 110 years and so we’re continuing,” Mark Turner says.
You may have heard this bell when doing your Thanksgiving shopping, but it’s started later than normal this year.
“Six days shorter than usual, we’re already about $20,000 down on the kettles because we’re just starting,” Turner explains.
The money put into the red kettles goes to make sure the families they serve are taken care of.
“But over 95% of the funding for the soup kitchen, the same is true with the food pantry– comes through the money raised at the kettles,” Turner says.
Turner is a Major with the Evansville Salvation Army. He says the holidays are a time when people need the extra hand.
“This is a tough time of year for some people and resources are short,” Turner explains.”Many people who come in for help have never asked for assistance in their whole life. And just coming in, their not asking for themselves. They’re asking for their children. “
They’re asking for more people to spend their time ringing a bell that means much more than they may think.
“That bell is really – literally ringing hope,” Turner says.
If you’re not able to volunteer Turner says even the change collecting in your pockets can add up to thousands in the end. But if there are no pennies in your purse, you can donate right from the phone in your hand.
“On all of our kettle signs, we have Apple and Google Pay. So you can take a picture of the little app sign and it will take you to the site and you can decide how much you want to pay. It just takes seconds,” he explains.
Turner says every dollar put in the kettles, for every Salvation Army goes right back to helping the people in their service area.
Henderson and Owensboro Salvation Armies are also ringing their bells.
The link to sign up to volunteer for any salvation army can be found here.
(This story was originally published on December 1, 2019)