Salvation Army kicked off its biggest fundraiser of the year over the weekend. The Red Kettle Campaign raises one-third of the organization's annual budget.
This year, the goal is to raise nearly $950,000. There are currently 13 locations in La Crosse County where volunteers are ringing bells along with the Red Kettle Campaign. Shoppers passing by can simply drop their donations into the kettles. More locations are expected as it gets closer to the holiday season.
Volunteers from businesses, organizations, schools, and church groups have signed up to ring the bells.
"It's really neat, because when it comes down to it, it's really all about collaboration," said Nick Ragner, Public Relations and Development Director for the Salvation Army. "Everybody working together for the greater good. I think that's a big part of what the Red Kettle is is bringing together a lot of different people from different backgrounds, different organizations to ultimately help out their neighbors."
Ragner said they have 50-percent of the volunteers they need for the season. They still have 1500 hours of shifts to fill. Those interested in volunteering can sign-up at the Salvation Army website.
Ragner said last year more than $926,000 was raised in the campaign. That is the most ever raised in the La Crosse County.
The Salvation also accepts donations by mail or by text by sending 'givelax' to 41444.