SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The kettle bells are already ringing this year in Syracuse. The Salvation Army Red Kettle Bells Fundraiser began earlier this month with new COVID-19 safety regulations in place.
There are approximately 30 kettles in Onondaga County this year. Major David Dean explained how the Salvation Army is trying to put themselves in the position of those who are donating or volunteering at these kettles.
“To know that we are doing everything we can to make it safe for them as they approach the kettle,” Dean said. “That our ringers kind of back off and give them plenty of space. So we’ve done a lot to try make it easier for people to give.”
While the Salvation Army was able to keep the same number of kettles in Onondaga county this year as they have had in previous years, Cheryl Mann, the development coordinator at the Salvation Army in Syracuse, discussed how they have lost an element of the community.
“People like to come with other people,” Mann said. “We can’t have a group of people at a bell. That community aspect has been taken away from us, and I think that that can be a lot of people are more likely to give when they see a group of girl scouts.”
The kettles are a great way to help those within the Syracuse area and other communities. Mann explained how they distribute the money from these red kettles.
“The money is staying here,” Mann said. “I think that people really need to know that when you are giving to the red kettle – even though we are an international church – if you are giving money to a red kettle in Syracuse, it’s going to stay in Syracuse.”
With COVID-19 and the upcoming cold winter, people in Onondaga county and the Syracuse area specifically can see the need of those around them.
“Just living in Syracuse you can see how the need has gotten a little bit worse,” Mann said. “The community needs help right now, so everyone is just wanting to help.”
The Salvation Army Red Kettle Bells will be in the county until Dec. 24. One can donate by going to a local kettle bell, visiting the Salvation Army’s website or texting “Cusekettles2020” to 41444.