By Friday, known as the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign will also be kicking into high gear at all of its locations.
Capt. Rick Hamelund of the Leavenworth Salvation Army said volunteers have been stationed at most of the locations in the city since Nov. 16 — the Dillons, Country Mart and Kmart locations in Leavenworth. On Friday, there will also be volunteers ringing bells at the biggest retail store in the city — Walmart. He said Walmart’s company policy is to not allow bell ringing until after Thanksgiving.
Groups of volunteers will staff each of those locations between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. from now until Dec. 24. Hamelund said the Salvation Army hosted a recent volunteer luncheon to kick off the campaign and sign up the groups who will be taking shifts.
“I think I have more groups than I had last year,” he said.
Among them are church, civic and scout groups, senior organizations and businesses, according to Hamelund.
For this year’s campaign, he said the Salvation Army has set a fundraising goal of $83,000, admitting that it was an increase over the previous year’s goal.
“I’m confident that with the volunteers that we have and the generosity of the people in the community, we’ll be able to meet that,” Hamelund said.
The proceeds of the campaign, he said, will fund the emergency assistance programs that the local Salvation Army provides.
In addition to the Red Kettle campaign, Hamelund said the Salvation Army is also again encouraging those in the community to pick up a tag from the organization’s Angel Trees. Each tag represents a child in need from the Leavenworth community and Hamelund said the tags will be available at Kmart, Dillons, Pullman Place Restaurant and Reilly and Sons Coldwell Banker.