With Thanksgiving a week away and holiday spirit beginning to fill the air, Lawrence residents can expect to see bell ringers for The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign as early as Friday.
The Lawrence Salvation Army’s goal is to raise $125,000 this holiday season, $28,000 more than last year.
“The money raised during the Christmas season really constitutes a good amount of operating money,” said Lt. Matthew McCluer of Lawrence Salvation Army.
Donations will help with program support, filling the food pantry, rent and utility assistance and having funds to help community members in need.
Bell ringers will be at 21 locations in Lawrence from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, but McCluer said volunteers are still needed to handle all shifts.
The Salvation Army prefers to have volunteer ringers rather than paid workers, who would cut into the donation goal.
“People don’t have to put a dollar into the kettle each time they pass by it,” McCluer said. “Even if they can volunteer an hour ringing the bell, it’s so helpful.”
Bell ringers will stand outside of businesses, including both Walmart locations, Dillons stores, Checkers Foods, Weaver’s Department Store and U.S. Bank on Massachusetts Street.
In an effort to meet its goal, The Salvation Army will also set up counter and paper kettles, such as at gasoline stations, where a traditional bell ringer wouldn’t normally be placed.
McCluer said people also may donate by mail or at The Salvation Army building, 946 New Hampshire St.
“It’s crucially important for the work of The Salvation Army, and the work of The Salvation Army is synonymous with helping the community,” McCluer said.