DICKSON CITY, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Bells will be ringing, especially at the number one retailer across the country. It is the kickoff of the 2019 Red Kettle season at Walmart.
The holiday season is in full swing, which means for the Salvation Army, it’s officially kettle season.
“We’ve been here almost 135 years in this area and we have been doing kettles ever since,” Major Karen Schmig of the Salvation Army of Scranton said.
Starting Saturday, the local Salvation Army will now be out daily in front of Walmarts in the area to gratefully accept donations through Christmas. Normally, volunteers don’t bring the kettles out until Black Friday.
“It seems we start earlier and earlier because the need is greater so we need to start a little bit earlier to help those people in need,” Schmig said.
All donations help feed and clothe the needy in the area. The Salvation Army is also collecting toys for their angel tree to help children who otherwise might not have gifts underneath their tree for Christmas.
“Well there’s a need and while the economy is generally good, there are people that still have trouble putting food on their table, clothing their family and that’s why it’s important,” volunteer Pat Dietz said.
Dietz is a volunteer and a member of the Salvation Army’s advisory board. He came out to Walmart at 9 a.m.
“It’s fun too. People love to give and the kids’ smiles on their faces love to give and really it’s just part of the holiday season and giving back to the community, that’s why I volunteer,” Dietz said.
You can either place your dollar in the kettle or, new this year, you can pay with your phone on the scanner.
“We really do have a lot of people in the community that cannot put food on their table throughout the weeks and then it’s also important because we help people with gas bills and put clothing on their back and things like that so we’re there to help the community as much as we can,” Schmig said.
Embracing the chilly weather, all for a good cause. The Salvation Army is in need of more volunteers to help man the kettles. Even if it’s just for two to three hours a day, your service will be greatly appreciated.
Contact your local Salvation Army to learn how to help.