LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Salvation Army says there is a greater need this year during the holidays. On Saturday, the organization kicked off this holiday season with their annual Red Kettle Campaign.
You hear the bells and you know that the holiday season is upon us.
Although there have been many changes this year, one thing is familiar— the bell ringers are out. This time with masks and gloves on, and disinfectant spray to wipe down the red kettles.
This year, the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle tradition is a bit different than years past.
“We’re here to make sure that the Salvation Army still has funds going forward,” said Lt. Thomas Marion. After Laura, after Covid and everything else, this is very necessary because regular world problems still come and we have to be there for those as well.”
The red kettle still holds the same message...doing the most good for those in need. A need that Lt. Marion says resonates with so many in Southwest Louisiana recovering from the hurricanes.
“We’ve had to do extra work since the hurricanes but God’s blessed us where we still had the funds to do that. We’re also doing more entries with our Angel Tree this year. We have 2,500 more children this year and these funds will go to help that as well.”
He says because the hurricanes damaged many of their usual donation spots. It hasn’t taken away the spirit of giving throughout the community.
“We’re down 10 locations this year but we’re going to make what we have be blessed and do as much as we can this year,” Marion said. “Even though this city is damaged, after going through day 1 and seeing what we raised with just 7 kettles, we felt very good. We know the people here will support us and they know that the money stays here to help this local area.”
After losing both their shelter and the family thrift store due to Hurricane Laura...Marion says he’s hopeful they’ll reach this year’s goals.
“If we don’t make it, we’ll still be blessed with whatever we get. We hope that with the support of our area and community that we’ll get to that.”
Last year the Salvation Army of Lake Charles raised about $138,000 for the Red Kettle Campaign. This year’s goal is $125,000.
The Salvation Army is still looking for bell ringers. Part-time and full-time positions are available. The pay rate is $8 an hour.
For more information or to donate online, click here.