Bell ringers

With Christmas in the air, that can only mean it's time for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign.

A Salvation Army official said that more volunteers are needed as the organization continues its Red Kettle Campaign this holiday season.

“I am very proud of the efforts we have made during the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign,” said Junell Dunnington. “We have until Christmas Eve to raise the funds needed in Henderson County.”

Several slots for bell-ringers are available at Brookshire's and Walmart in Athens.

All of the money raised during the Red Kettle Campaign stays in Henderson County to support programs for children, seniors and families.  

Leslie Saunders, Henderson County Help Center Director, said, “In Henderson County, that money is vital in supporting programs for children, seniors and families here.

“During this season of giving, it's important to assist our friends in need,” Saunders said. “This would be a great way for any group who may need community service to give back to their community.”

According to its website, the Red Kettle tradition began in 1891 when Salvation Army Capt. Joseph McFee wanted to help feed the needy in San Francisco. McFee remembered the ferry landings in Liverpool, England, where people sat with small kettles that travelers tossed spare change into to help the less fortunate.

Placing his own kettle on Market Street in Oakland, McFee was able to help individuals on Christmas. The idea made its way to Boston in 1897, and the Red Kettle Campaign has been a tradition since that time.

The Athens Salvation Army bell-ringers will volunteer each day, except on Sunday. To register as individuals or groups, call 903-675-4357.

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