Central Valley Salvation Army red kettle season begins

The Salvation Army bell ringers will be at dozens of locations through Christmas.
November 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The Salvation Army bell ringers will be at dozens of locations through Christmas. The Salvation Army collection is as much a staple during the holidays as menorahs and Christmas trees.

"The bells are now ringing, the kettles are out. It's time to do what we do best during the Christmas season," Fresno Salvation Army coordinator Capt. Dwaine Breazeale said.

More than 2,000 volunteers are planning to work through the holidays. They will be collecting money at 25 Red Kettle locations in the Fresno metro area.

"It's said to be the most efficiently run organization in America. That's because 83 percent of the money collected goes directly to help people," Salvation Army board member Bob Belcher said.

The Fresno Citadel Corps Brass Band greeted Black Friday shoppers at Fresno's River Park shopping center Friday morning.

Every greeting and every donation leads to help for thousands of people in need in the Valley. The Salvation Army offers help with addiction, housing and other issues throughout the year.

"People have problems with their utility bills or making rent payments, we can help out there, just numerous kinds of services provided," Belcher said.

Bell ringers have gone hi-tech and can even collect debit and credit card donations.

"We'll be giving away Christmas gifts, toys for kids and special food baskets for families in need. There will be all kinds of things. We are anticipating providing toys for about 10,000 kids here in the valley this year," Breazeale said.

About 2,000 people in the Valley have already signed up to volunteer, but more volunteers are always welcome.


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