Salvation Army wants you to ring bells for its annual red kettle campaign

The Mad Beatz Philly drumline and the Salvation Army Brass Quartet kicked off Salvation Army Red Kettle Month at the LOVE Park Christmas Village on December 3, 2021. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The Mad Beatz Philly drumline and the Salvation Army Brass Quartet kicked off Salvation Army Red Kettle Month at the LOVE Park Christmas Village on December 3, 2021. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

The Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania is searching for more volunteers for its annual red kettle campaign. The iconic tradition raises money to help the needy during the winter holiday season.

Lt. Colonel Larry Ashcroft is the Divisional Commander of the Salvation Army for Eastern Pa., and Delaware. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Lt. Col. Larry Ashcraft said the charitable organization typically staffs 100 locations around Philadelphia in December This year, the group has only had enough manpower for 75 locations on any given day, he said.

Salvation Army members kicked off Salvation Army Red Kettle Month at the LOVE Park Christmas Village on December 3, 2021. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“We need volunteers that would say ‘I’ll give you two hours, give you four hours, eight hours on a kettle with my family or business. And they would just help us out immensely by staffing those because you can’t raise money if nobody’s there,” said Ashcraft during a kickoff celebration in LOVE Park on Friday.

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The kettle campaign brought in about $300,000 in 2020. The organization raised another $450,000 through direct mail and other marketing efforts. The Salvation Army uses that money to provide food and housing to those in need, particularly during the Christmas season.

Salvation Army members kicked off Salvation Army Red Kettle Month, as cited by the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, at the LOVE Park Christmas Village on December 3, 2021. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Ashcraft hopes to hit or surpass that fundraising mark this year.

“Last year was a banner year for us, believe it or not. With COVID and everything else, people realized the good work we did and they wanted to support us,” said Ashcraft.

The red kettle campaign runs through Dec. 24.

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