BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The time before Thanksgiving is usually when the Salvation Army kicks off its Red Kettle Campaign. COVID-19 has forced some changes, but isn’t stopping the practice in many areas.
In Gadsden, red kettles and bell ringers began setting up last week. We found one devoted bell ringer Thursday at the River Trace Shopping Center. This year they’ve watched training videos to prepare for life in the COVID-19 era. They even have their own PPE.
”We’ve provided for all the bell ringers, masks, disposable masks, we provided disposable aprons that says ‘The Salvation Army,’ which is normally permanent, but this year, they’re disposable. They have gloves that they’re able to use,” says Gadsden Commander Major Jim Edmonds. Bell ringers are also required to step six feet away whenever anyone puts money in the kettle.
The kettles themselves are also sanitized between uses.
The commander says they hope they can recruit volunteers , they’re running short this year.
The Salvation Army uses the money raised for a variety of purposes, including toys and Christmas fruit baskets, its homeless shelter, and its disaster assistance truck, which was pressed into service recently feeding first responders and displaced residents at a large apartment complex fire in East Gadsden.