The Salvation Army begins “ringing the bell” in full force for its annual Red Kettle Cam­paign the Fri­day after Thanks­giving, according to Capt. Chris Streck.

While residents are sear­ch­ing for bargains, they also have an opportunity to give. Streck said the kettles will be at nine locations across Hardin County, including Wal­mart, Kroger, Hobby Lob­by, Rural King and Roses.

New this year, Streck said all of the kettles are set up for Apple Pay and Google Pay.

“Just simply hold your phone up to our sign, act­i­vate Apple Pay or Google Pay in your phone and donate with a click of a button,” he said.

Streck said their goal is to raise $70,000 — the same as last year.

“Last year, we did not reach our goal of $70,000 but because the need is even greater this year, we are staying with that goal,” he said.

Streck said money raised from the kettles helps in several different ways. First, during the holiday season they help more than 700 children and 300 families with food, clothes and toys.

During the course of the year, Streck said they also help more than 1,200 families with utility, rental, prescription, food, clothing and transportation assistance. They also have a weekly character building program for school children that helps develops personal and social skills.

Last year, they even used money to send more than 50 children to weekly summer camps that provide learning and nutrition stability over the summer months.

“We are always trying new ways of helping men, women and children of Hardin County. All this is because of the tremendous generosity and hearts of the donors and volunteers,” he said.

To help with the cam­paign, Streck said they are in need of volunteers for bell ringing. To volunteer, residents can go to registertoring.com or call 270-217-5793.

Mary Alford can be reached at 270-505-1741 or malford@thenewsenterprise.com.

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