Lieutenants Matthew and Emily Phelps at the kettle location at Kroger on Friday. The giving season of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign began Friday, coinciding with the Christmas shopping season. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Lieutenants Matthew and Emily Phelps at the kettle location at Kroger on Friday. The giving season of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign began Friday, coinciding with the Christmas shopping season. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie)
Ringing bells will be heard throughout the Jefferson County area as the Salvation Army kicks off its annual Red Kettle Campaign.

Salvation Army Lieutenants Matthew and Emily Phelps set up kettles throughout Madison and Hanover on Friday for the event that helps to raise nearly a quarter of the local organization's yearly funds.

The organization hopes to meet its Christmas goal of $113,000 through the kettle campaign and mail-appeal donations for the year-long programs at the Salvation Army, Lt. Matthew Phelps said.

The Salvation Army hopes to raise nearly $50,000 of this year's Christmas goal from the kettle campaign, he said.

Bell ringers and the Salvation Army Red Kettles will be located downtown and at various Jefferson County businesses, including JCPenney, Walgreens, Big Lots and the Dollar General stores in Madison and Hanover. A kettle also will be located at Walmart after Thanksgiving.

The money collected will fund the Salvation Army projects in Jefferson County, including the food pantry, financial assistance, the dental clinic, character-building classes and more offered at the center. The organization also provides nearly 19,000 breakfast and lunch meals throughout the year. Meals also are served during the holidays.

"Both of those are wonderful occasions," he said of the holiday dinners.

The Red Kettle Campaign donations will also provide Christmas assistance for clothing, toys and food to more than 300 local families during the holiday season.

The Salvation Army continues to look for volunteers to serve as bell ringers for two or more hours throughout the holiday season.

"We're always in need of more ringers," Matthew Phelps said.

Anyone interested in volunteering to be a bell ringer should contact Laura Tullis at the Salvation Army. She may be reached by calling the Salvation Army office at (812) 265-2157.



See video of the Red Kettle Campaign kick-off online at www.madisoncourier.com.