Red Kettles Return for Salvation Army's Annual Fundraiser

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COLUMBIA - With the holiday season quickly approaching, the Salvation Army began its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Monday.  This is the Salvation Army's biggest fundraiser of the year and is widely recognized by the public.  These are the red kettles or buckets set outside stores throughout mid-Misosuri and the nation.

Some paid workers and mostly volunteers are those standing next to the red kettles.  These are the workers who ring the tradtional bell in order to attract donations.

The Salvation Army in Columbia is stationing 19 red kettles at stores around the Columbia area.

"What people don't realize is that the money we collect from the red kettles helps out year-round, not just during the holiday season," said Director of Development for the Salvation Army in Columbia Cyndy Chapman.  "We're always looking for more volunteers.  Many people get their kids involved while they're young so they'll appreciate the feeling of 'giving back'".

In 2010, the Salvation Army in Columbia raised more than $334,000 with the kettle campaign.  This year, its goal is to raise more than $341,000.  Nationally, the Salvation Army is asking for donations of more than $3 million.

"We need to raise more this year because we're in need, more than ever, to help people in need," said Chapman.

The national Salvation Army raises funds that provide food, clothing, shelter, and other services throughout the year.  In Columbia, the Salvation Army provides one of the only homeless shelters in the area.

"Nobody should go homeless," said Chapman.  "These donations mean more to these people than words can describe."

For more information, please check out the Salvation Army's website.