The Salvation Army of Blount County will begin its Red Kettle Campaign on Saturday, Nov. 21, with a few locations. Once Thanksgiving arrives, more locations will be added with its Twelve Days of Kettles Campaign. There will only be 12 days of bell ringing after Thanksgiving.
Last year, Salvation Army of Blount County raised $90,381 in the annual holiday campaign.
Corps Officer Kati Chase said there are two goals this year — a monetary goal of $60,000, which will be raised through in-person kettles, the Red Kettle Challenge and Virtual Kettle, along with a volunteer hours goal of 1,320. That is the total number of hours kettles will be operating this holiday season.
“We have hired a small number of bell ringers to fill in any gaps that we have, but our goal is to man as many kettles as possible with volunteers,” Chase said. “Currently, we have 96 hours covered, so there is a long way to go.”
The kettle dates are Nov. 27-28, Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 17-19 and 22-24. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“We are looking for churches, businesses, service clubs, organizations and individuals to volunteer,” Chase said. Individuals are asked to take a two-hour shift; clubs can rotate members and take longer shifts, she said.
Salvation Army is taking precautions due to coronavirus. Personal protective equipment will be provided for volunteers. Masks are required for everyone ringing the bells. All kettle signs will be equipped with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Those who are interested in volunteering as a bell ringer may call the Salvation Army office at 865-983-7135 or visit salvationarmymaryville.org to sign up.
New this year are the Virtual Kettle and the Red Kettle Challenge. The Red Kettle Challenge is a peer-to-peer challenge to raise money for kettles. More information is provided on the website.
Donations can also be make online at maryvillekettle.org or donations can be mailed to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 848, Alcoa, TN 37701.
Walmart is doing a Round-Up Program online and on the app that will go to the Salvation Army, Chase said.
Each year, the Salvation Army also helps provide Christmas to children in the community. This year, that will include 525 children in Blount County through the agency’s Angel Tree. The trees ae located at Vienna Coffee Co., National Fitness Center, Alcoa Walmart and Maryville Walmart. Gifts are due back by Dec. 4
People can also help with the Angel Tree online by making a purchase through the Walmart Registry For Good.