NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Bells are ringing across Nashville as the Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Campaign ramps up.
Jay Servais has been a volunteer bell ringer for 45 years, and participated again outside the Walmart in Hermitage Friday afternoon. He represents the fourth generation of his family to work closely with the Salvation Army.
"My great grandfather and my great grandmother were saved by the Salvation Army soup line," said Servais. "They were also given the opportunity to get food, medical care and shelter."
The Salvation Army of Nashville is honoring the Servais family legacy by raising money to help others in need this holiday season. The local chapter was participating in a national challenge to see who could raise the most money at a single kettle within a four-hour period. Every donation made through the Red Kettle campaign helps local families and individuals with rent and utility assistance, meals and educational support for youth.
"Every time a dollar goes in the kettle, someone is getting help," said Servais.
To help ensure as many people receive help as possible, community partners are matching all donations made up to $275,000 throughout the campaign.
However, there will be some changes this year due to the pandemic. Salvation Army leaders said people may notice fewer red kettles stationed across the area, and there won't be as many volunteers working either.
This comes as the need in the community continues to be extremely high, as residents recover from the impact of the pandemic. Officials are encouraging people to donate online.
"If we are going to be successful this year, we are likely to be successful with people who take the Red Kettle Challenge online," said Major Ethan Frizzell, Area Commander for Salvation Army of Middle Tennessee. "We want to thank all of you who give hard-earned dollars for their neighbors."
This year's campaign runs through Dec. 31. The goal is to raise $500,000.
If you would like to learn more about the Red Kettle Campaign, or make a donation online visit the Salvation Army Red Kettle web page.