Salvation Army aims to staff all red kettles with volunteers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Salvation Army aims to staff all red kettles with volunteers

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - As you remember what you're thankful for it's a time to think about helping others.

Friday, the Salvation Army kicked off its red kettle campaign. What you may not realize as you're walking by the iconic red kettles this holiday season is how many of those bell ringers are volunteers.

The organization is aiming to staff every kettle with a volunteer and they're closer than ever to doing so.

Right now, the organization has staffed 25% of its manpower with volunteers. Last year, only 6% were unpaid.

"It's already four times what it's been. And we're still moving forward. So we expect some more participation. It's already a success. Even if nothing else happens," Major Michael Hawley said.

There are 4,200 two-hour spots throughout the metro. In 2010, the red kettle income totaled $400,000.

They're hoping to match that this year.

While the Louisville chapter didn't staff all positions with volunteers, Major Hawler says this season is already a unprecedented as far as volunteerism.

"Everybody we can get as a volunteer saves us minimum wage per hour. If they can't volunteer we still have to get someone out there, so we can give people the opportunity to give," Hawley said.

You'll begin seeing bell ringers Friday, November 18 outside area storefronts and retailers.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

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