Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign kicks off

("Looking After The Homeless - The Salvation Army" by William Murphy Follow , CC BY-SA 2.0)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): It’s a familiar sound: the ringing of bells outside most shopping centers and stores.

The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign, complete with those bell ringers, kicked off today and will run through Christmas Eve. Tim Smith tells WOWO News it’s very important to the charity:

“What we raise throughout the Christmas season is about 40% of our operating budget.”

The official kickoff happened at 2pm today at Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne, with the music and audio gear retailer making the first donation. Last year, the nationwide campaign raised more than $144-million, although there were reports that donations in northeast Indiana were down.

Bell ringers will be set up at a total of 40 Fort Wayne locations by the day after Thanksgiving. A few are already set and taking donations, including the ability to donate with credit cards if you don’t have any cash.

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