JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It is that time of year when you will be hearing the ringing of the bell when you go shopping, as the Salvation Army of Northeast Florida has kicked off its well-known red kettle campaign.
The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers, from seniors in high school to senior citizens, to volunteer to ring the bell. Senior citizens like 102-year-old Mary Johnson, who rings the bell a 30 minutes a day for at least two days during the holiday season
"I believe in looking out for others. I am happy that I have good health and am happy to help others less fortunate than myself," said Johnson, who attended the kickoff with her 88-year-old friend Di Tyree, who also rings the bell as a volunteer.
High school seniors like Brandy Andrews can earn community volunteer hours for entry into college but it's more than that for her. She
enjoys helping people and urges other high school seniors like her to ring the bell.
"It"s a really good opportunity. You have a lot of fun, you meet people, you have a good time ... come out and support it by volunteering," said Andrews. She, along with three other Jackson High cheerleaders, led cheers at the kickoff, urging people to donate.
The red kettle campaign's goal is to beat last year's donations, which totaled $350,000 in Duval County alone over 38 days. It helps a lot of people in need.
"We help out at Thanksgiving, turkeys for families with Thanksgiving meals," said Major Dean Hinson, director of the Salvation Army in Jacksonville. "We have the angel tree program where you
go take and angel off the tree at the mall and shop for that child and then we give it out to that family. A lot of ways we touch peoples lives as we celebrate Christmas."
The Salvation Army asks that you remember the less fortunate during the holiday season, and when you hear the bell ringing, put your spare change in the kettle.
First Coast News