Kettle bell ringers out today for Salvation Army

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Starting today for the next six weeks, you'll see the bell ringers out at stores throughout the Richmond area, as the Salvation Army kicks off its Christmas Kettle Campaign.

Last year was a record breaker. The kettles seeing more change than ever and now Jessica Dombroski is one of the first people to help out this year.

"Someone always has it worse off than I do so you got to help out while you can," says Jessica.

Jessica's small donation goes a long way to help the 30,000-50,000 people the Salvation Army helps through its Christmas services, including this campaign.

Captain David Worthy helped set up the first kettle early this morning. "From helping someone with a toy at Christmas to buying groceries to helping someone with rent and utilities."

"It's a great way to put your money in the right spot," says Jessica.

You can also donate by swiping your plastic. The past few years the Salvation Army has exceeded its goal of raising $250,000. While the goal is the same this year, getting to it may be tougher.

"This year, from an income stand point from the non-profits, it's depressing. We are worried we won't meet our goal," says Capt. Worthy.

That could mean less services for those who rely on your donations.

Another big hit is no Ukrop's for the bell ringers to set up at and they can't set up outside Martin's Food Stores. That alone, could mean thousands of dollars lost. To offset that potential loss, bell ringers will be outside ABC Stores, mainly on the weekends, for the first time in a couple of decades.

Also, since a plea earlier this week, the number of volunteers to ring these bells has increased. But more are needed.

Whether helping as a volunteer or donor, Jessica says, "Everyone can give $1 a day that's a lot of people that can help out. Start carrying cash. It's the holidays guys!"

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