Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign rings in season of giving

NEW BRUNSWICK — The season of giving has just begun as Tuesday marks the Salvation Army’s 24 Hours of Giving Red Kettle Campaign with hundreds of volunteers coming out to contribute.

“The Salvation Army is out all year round but Christmas time is when were the most visible,” Divisional Commander Salvation Army Major James Betts said. “It’s the best opportunity for folks to come alongside and help us do what we do in the community to help folks who are hurting.”

Volunteers of all ages stood outside ringing bells hoping others will hear it and give back.

“We are really trying to make sure that every child who wakes up on Christmas morning has a toy under the tree, a coat on their back, and food in their belly,” Major Betts said.

The programs range from holiday assistance, after-school programs, shelters, and food donations.

“It’s not just the gifts just normally we have a food pantry that helps a lot of people and all this money goes around to help all these programs,” volunteer Vivira Zavaleta said.

Major Betts says it’s also an opportunity to teach children how to give back.

“Even giving them some change to the throw in the kettle really becomes a child’s first experience with philanthropy,” he said. “Really thinking about someone other than themselves and other than their families and we are thrilled to be able to help provide that opportunity.”