Santa helps kick off local Red Kettle Campaign

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Pike County Salvation Army’s 2015 Red Kettle Campaign officially kicked off Friday at locations in Troy and Brundidge.

Kim May, director of the local Salvation Army Service Center, said Santa Claus took time from his already busy schedule to visit the bell ringers at Food World, Piggly Wiggly 231 and Walgreen’s.

“We kicked off our Red Kettle Campaign early because the Greeks at Troy University ring for us and they have to ring before they get out for the holidays,” May said. “Santa enjoys visiting with members of the sororities and fraternities and takes the opportunity to thank them for their volunteer spirit.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Red Kettle Campaign is the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser and is a Christmas tradition.

“The money that is raised through the Red Kettle Campaign is used to help people right here at home,” May said. ‘It helps our friends and neighbors and the need is great, especially at this time of year.”

The Pike County Salvation Army will begin its serious bell ringing on Black Friday.

The Salvation Army bells will begin ringing at Walmart on Friday and continue to ring at the other three Troy locations and at Piggly Wiggly in Brundidge. And volunteer bell ringers are needed.

“Pike County people have been very generous in giving their time as bell ringers,” May said. “A lot of people have already volunteered but we still have a lot of slots to fill between now and Christmas Eve.”

The Salvation Army bells ring from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Food World, Walgreen’s, Piggly Wiggly 231 and Walmart.

“We don’t ring on Sundays and the Brundidge Rotary Club rings at the Piggly Wiggly in Brundidge on Fridays and Saturdays,” May said. “Some people like to ring at night and we welcome that but that’s completely up to the bell ringers.”

The schedule is set up for ringing in two-hour blocks but May said she would accommodate the schedule for anyone who wants to ring.

“We have some groups that will volunteer to ring for an entire day, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and they set their own schedules and that works out fine,” she said. “We have churches, clubs and organizations that ring for us and some businesses, as well as individuals.

“We have a stool available for those who need to sit. We want everyone who wants to ring the bell to have that opportunity. All of those who participate in the Red Kettle Campaign say they get a blessing from it. Ringing the bell for the Salvation Army is a way to do something for others at this special time of year.”

Those who would like to be bell ringers for the Pike County Salvation Army may volunteer by calling the Salvation Army Service Center at 334-808-1069; Donna McLaney at 334-268-2553 or May at 334-672-4481. Bell ringers also may sign up at the Salvation Army Service Center at 509 South Brundidge Street in Troy.