DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It's become a symbol of the holiday season, today the Salvation Army kicked off its iconic red kettle campaign. North Texans will soon be able to make donation at more than 400 retail locations.
Mayor Mike Rawlings helped kick off the fundraising campaign in Dallas. "It really does represent more than Christmas, this red kettle really represents charity," he said.
According to The Salvation Army, the red kettles allow the non-profit to serve millions of Americans in need with food, clothing, toys, shelter, and other assistance. Mayor Rawlings also reminded that the money raised in Texas stays in Texas. "We're not giving money to something that goes off to a foreign land or to a big city on the east coast -- it stays right here in Dallas/Fort Worth."
The money raised through red kettle donations help operate 15 Salvation Army centers across North Texas.
Keeping pace with technology the Salvation Army is also now making it easy for everyone to make a red kettle donation. Salvation Army Captain Michele Matthews explained, "Nowadays we know that fewer and fewer people are carrying cash with them, but we don't want those of you who don't carry cash to feel left out."
Official red kettle displays will now also have QR codes that can be scanned with a smartphone, for people wanting to make a $5 or $10 donation.
You don't have to stand outside in the cold, ringing a bell to help. Individuals, businesses, churches, etc. can also raise money for the Salvation Army by setting up an Online Red Kettle page. There's also an iPhone app tied in with Online Red Kettle campaign.
Last year The Salvation Army raised some $2.3 million during the red kettle campaign. The goal is $2.5 million for the 2012 Christmas Campaign. "Just last year The Salvation Army touched one in almost 50 people in the metroplex, so that just says to use that need is still there," Matthews said.
There will be a limited number of red kettle displays out for the next few weeks, but Matthews said, "Once Thanksgiving hits then you'll see us everywhere."
While a majority of funds are raised during Thanksgiving and Christmastime, Salvation Army officials say the money generated is stretched and used to fund as many year-round operations as possible.
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