The Bell ringers and red kettles of the Salvation Army are back, and just in time for the holidays. They started yesterday and will continue for the next 38 days at 67 Publix, Winn Dixie, and Wal-Mart locations around the area trying to raise as much money as they can to fund programs that don't stop after the holidays.
"People forget sometimes, we are feeding people every night of the year, we house people every night, not just Thanksgiving Dinner or Christmas Dinner," Major Dean Hinson - NE FL Salvation Army Area Commander said.
Hundreds of volunteers will spend parts of each 10 hour day ringing away hoping spread the hope of the holiday season and bring in as much money as they can, all of it done with kind worda and a smile.
"The people love doing it, as they volunteer. It's a way they can help others. They love being able to help others, but we've told them that happy people raise more money," Major Hinson said.
Feedback from the volunteers, people that donate, and those that benefit from the donations give hope to people with the Salvation Army that even in the tough economy, people will continue to give whatever they can to help others.
"It encourages us, it lets us know we are on the right track, that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. We need everyone's help and it is very satisfying to see that happen, especially at Christmas time," Major Hinson said.
The Salvation Army is still looking for people to volunteer during the Red Kettle Drive. If you'd like to help you can call the Salvation Army at 353-6303.