State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Jingle Bells Needed at Salvation Army Red Kettles

by on December 05, 2013 6:00 AM

If you don't hear the bells ringing when you're out shopping, that probably means the Salvation Army needs your help.

The well-known red kettle fundraising effort by Salvation Army is underway, but it's off to a late start this year due to the 2013 calendar and Thanksgiving arriving several days later than usual.

Volunteers ring bells to get shoppers' attention and collect donations in those familiar-looking red kettles. As part of a national contract, the Salvation Army can't start ringing bells until the day after Thanksgiving.

That means the Salvation Army of Centre County has less time to collect the funds it will use throughout 2014 to assist the less fortunate in the area, according to Steve Williams, regional manager for the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army helps local residents with heating assistance, rental assistance, food, shelter and an emergency disaster program that helps first responders.

"It's designed so that we can help the folks here in Center County," Williams said.

Last year, $80,000 was raised locally through the kettles. The goal is to at least meet that amount this year. Ninety percent of funds stay in Centre County. The remaining funds help pay administration costs.

However, the time frame is tighter and there are still hours available for volunteer bell ringers. Without a volunteer, the kettle can't be out at a store and therefore it's a time when donations can't be collected.

Anyone interested in volunteering can register by clicking HERE.

"There's always that concern. There are economic issues at play that we can't control, time slots that don't get filled," Williams said. "We rely heavily on the kettle season to support us throughout the year, but we also have a lot of faith that we will be provided for as well."

Kettles will be located at Walmart on North Atherton, Walmart on Benner Pike, Macy's at the Nittany Mall, Sam's Club on Benner Pike, and Moyer's Jewelers on East College Avenue.

Another way to help is by starting an online kettle that can be promoted through email and social media. Click HERE to set up your own kettle account.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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