Can you hear the bells? Salvation Army red kettle campaign kicks off

Bell ringers collect donations for Jacksonville community

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign kicked off Thursday in Jacksonville with a ceremony at Balis Park in San Marco.

The kettles, always an early sign of the holiday season, will be outside grocery stores and at the Avenues Mall.

Whether you have a dollar or just a few spare coins to give, the money goes to those in need right in your own backyard, Salvation Army officials said.

For Lt. Dominic Blanford, the sound of bells ringing is more than the sound of a new season.

“It’s rewarding and what I mean by that -- knowing what we’re doing, the impact that’s being had on a lot of lives,” Blanford said.

Last year, the Salvation Army in Northeast Florida raised more than $180,000, and it all goes directly back into the community it serves.

Blanford said the money helps fund several Salvation Army programs, including the meals served to those in need every day. 

“A small donation -- it goes a long way,” Blanford said.

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