Red Kettles keeping up with last year’s effort

Those familiar bells are once again echoing in the air.

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign is well underway and, according to Major Ronald Starnes, on pace with last year’s effort.

“We’re holding steady with last year, which is a good thing,” Starnes said of the campaign in Warren County. “We’ve found that most areas are coming in with less this year.”

Last year the campaign raised nearly $73,400 in donations and allowed the organization to help 590 children with clothing and toys, give aid to 345 families and serve more than 400 meals at Thanksgiving.

While the figures are impressive, the organization is hoping to exceed them this year.

“That leaves us a little under our goal,” Starnes noted. “We had hoped for a little more this year based on need.”

On Dec. 19, just five days before the end of the 2013 campaign, Starnes said the campaign still had some ground to cover to meet its objective.

“It would be nice to see people in the holiday spirit remembering the less fortunate,” he said. “We’re about 82 percent of our goal.”

The 2013 campaign kicked off on Friday, Nov. 15 and is running every day except Sunday. The campaign also took a day off for Thanksgiving.

According to the Salvation Army, the yearly campaign receives hundreds of hours of donated time from local clubs, organizations, sports teams and schools as volunteer bell ringers.

Starnes said he’s grateful for the help so far.

“I just want to thank the community for helping others, as they always do,” he said, “and I’m thankful they trust the Salvation Army and know we’ll do the right thing.”