MEDFORD, Ore. — On Friday, across the nation, the Salvation Army will be rolling out their Red Kettles and bell ringers. And in Medford, their kickoff ceremony will feature donation matching up to $2,000.
"Faithful contributors can put their change to good use by donating to the Red Kettles where The Salvation Army will use it to change lives. The Salvation Army will officially begin ringing bells on Friday, November 16th," the organization said in a statement.
The kickoff ceremony takes place at Fred Meyer North in Medford between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday. During that time and at that place, all donations will be matched up to $2,000 — thanks to Bill Whitson with Hunter Communications, Kelly’s Automotive and the local Salvation Army Advisory Board members.
“During the months of October through December, The Salvation Army will raise over one-third of the support needed for the entire year,” said Major Jason Koenig of the local Salvation Army chapter. This is why the organization says that the bell ringing season, and particularly the kick-off, are so instrumental to their success.
The bell ringing portion of the Campaign runs Monday through Saturday from November 16th through December 24th. Shifts are from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at various sites throughout Jackson and Josephine County.
But the Salvation Army says that they still need bell ringers. Anyone who wants to volunteer can sign up for open time slots by contacting the local organization.
"The annual Red Kettle Christmas fundraising campaign started in 1891 when a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco set up a crab pot and began collecting money for the poor at Christmas," the Salvation Army says. "Since then, the Red Kettle Campaign has become one of the longest-running fundraising efforts in the world. Our kettles can even be seen in Japan, Korea, Chile and throughout Europe."