WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s the season of giving and the Salvation Army has begun collecting donations with their famous red kettles. In Lycoming County, They’re off to a great start thanks to the generosity of others.

The Williamsport Salvation Army hosted its Fourth Annual Red Kettle Kick-Off Breakfast to begin collecting holiday donations.

“With sponsorships and kettle donations at the actual breakfast, we raised $35,000,” said Cheryl Hershey, Core Officer for the Williamsport Salvation Army.

Each year, “Kettle season” kicks off with the Salvation Army setting up their red kettles and ringing their bells at multiple businesses.

“You’ll see them at Walmart, at Hobby Lobby, at Sam’s Club, and at the Lycoming County Mall,” Hershey said.

The Williamsport Chapter was founded in 1885 and its mission is to spread the teachings of the bible and offer support to those who need it most.

“We do things like food pantries, we have a hygiene pantry. We have Christmas assistance, which is what we’re working on and will be working on tomorrow. We also do utilities and a rental program,” said Hershey

This is one of their busiest times of the year and Hershey says the need for help continues to grow.

“We have new families coming in every week. Like today, we helped like three new families as well as our regular client base,” Hershey continued.

They’re already halfway to their goal of $70,000 and Hershey hopes they can raise the rest in time for Christmas.

“That’ll help us not only through Christmas but help us get through the year,” said Hershey.

The red kettles will be set up until Christmas Eve, but they’re always looking for more volunteers.