JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Salvation Army will launch their Red Kettle Christmas campaign Friday afternoon at the Riverside Publix.
The Salvation Army said their Red Kettle Christmas campaign is the oldest annual charitable fundraiser of its kind in the United States.
Lasting from Friday all the way through to Christmas Eve the campaign raises money for needy people in the Jacksonville community. Through the money raised by the bell ringers, the Salvation Army provides toys for kids, shelter for the homeless, food for the hungry and over service programs year-round.
Launching this year's campaign is the local Salvation Army's oldest volunteer, 102-year-old Ms. Mary Johnson. The Salvation Army is targeting two groups to volunteer for this year's campaign: seniors in high school and senior citizens.
Major Dean Hinson, Area Commander for The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida, said, "The holidays are a time for great traditions, spending time with family and friends, giving thanks for the blessings in your life and remembering those less fortunate.
Every Christmas season The Salvation Army said they rely on members of the community to not only make donations for those less fortunate but also to ring bells and raise those funds. In 2011, The Salvation Army distributed over 100,000 toys and gifts to over 7,500 needy children and seniors at Christmas.
With the funds raised during last year's Red Kettle Campaign, The Salvation Army provided food, clothing, toys and other assistance to nearly 300,000 Northeast Florida residents.
First Coast News