Red kettles sprang up Monday at several locations across the county, including the Jasper Mall, Winn-Dixie, Son’s Supermarket in Jasper, Son’s in Parrish and Walmart Supercenters in Jasper and Sumiton.
“This is our only fundraiser of the year,” said Lona Courington, director of the Salvation Army of Walker County. “This is what funds our social services programs including this year’s Angel Tree, which will help buy gifts for about 220 children. It also goes to our many food programs. Everything we do.”
This year’s Red Kettle campaign will run through Christmas Eve, Courington said.
Salvation Army board members spent the day Monday manning the kettles. Most other days they will be manned by volunteers.
Last year, more than $84,000 was raised by the Red Kettle campaign.
“We think we can do even better this year,” Courington said, adding that the majority of donations comes in the form of quarters, dimes and nickels.
“It adds up,” said board member Jackie Geddings Gilbreath. “Change changes everything.”
Prior to the kettles being set up across the county, more than $8,000 had been raised this year through the recent Ruble Run, which brought in $2,100, and a sponsorship program this year where businesses or individuals sponsor a kettle that is set up to take in donations. Jasper Honda sponsored a kettle placed in front of Jasper Mall Monday.
“This is the first year we’ve had these type sponsorships,” she said.
Courington said sponsorships are still available. She also said there’s still plenty of opportunities for volunteers wanting to ring the bell at a kettle location.
“We’ve had so many calls from people wanting to ring the bells,” she said. “It’s been remarkable this year. The groups and clubs are lining up way ahead of time to help out.”
Anyone interested in sponsoring a kettle, or volunteering their time to ring bells, can call Courington at (205) 221-7737.
The Red Kettles are out from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. each day at each location.
In Marion County, which is a part of the local Salvation Army coverage area, red kettles were being manned by the Civitan Club of Hackleburg.