JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Salvation Army kicked off the iconic Red Kettle campaign in Jacksonville for this season on Thursday.
The Kettle Kickoff event took place at the Publix at Roosevelt Square. It marked the first day of bell ringing this year.
The Salvation Army was there giving away free Christmas cookies out of the disaster canteen.
Red kettles will be at Publix, Winn-Dixie and Walmart locations in Jacksonville and throughout Northeast Florida Mondays through Saturdays from Nov.10 through Christmas Eve.
Funds raised from kettles support The Salvation Army’s hunger and homelessness programs throughout the year.
Programs include the food pantry, which gives supplemental groceries to 250 households each week, the meal ministry program which serves meals to the homeless and working poor every night of the year totaling 160,744 meals per year, and the shelter which provides 41,166 nights of shelter per year.
All funds given to kettles stay in the community where they were received.
“We just love Christmas at The Salvation Army. It’s such an integral part of who we are as an organization and the kettles are our hallmark," Jacksonville Area Commander Major Rob Vincent commented. "Everyone knows that the sound of bells ringing and the sight of the red kettles mean help and hope for those less fortunate in our community. We’re excited to kick off this important campaign by spreading a little Christmas cheer.”