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PUNXSUTAWNEY â€”Bells will be ringing throughout Punxsutawney as the holiday fund-raising season was welcomed by the Salvation Armyâ€™s Kettle Kick-Off Friday.
This yearâ€™s kettle campaign goal is $50,000, Commanding Officer Captain Keith Jache said.
â€śWeâ€™re hoping to reach at least that so we can help people at Christ-mastime and throughout the year,â€ť he said.
The County Market kick-off, which offers a $2 meal that includes a hot dog, soda and bag of chips, will continue today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Donation kettles, generally monitored by bell-ringing volunteers from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., are located at County Market, Dollar Tree, Peebles and Comet Market.
Those traditional, red kettles will additionally appear at Wal-Mart and Dollar General the day after Thanksgiving.
â€śItâ€™s our biggest fund-raiser,â€ť Jache, pastor of the church, said. â€śIt helps us provide toys and clothes for children and adults for Christmas.â€ť
Money raised from the kettle campaign also helps heat homes, supplement rent and assists in funding after-school and scouting programs, Jache said.
Additionally, Angel Tree Tags â€” a campaign that provides Christmas presents for local children â€” may be picked up at the Salvation Army, Wal-Mart or area banks.
Currently lacking bell-ringing volunteers, Jache urged those interested to contact the church at 938-5530.
â€śItâ€™s a time to give back,â€ť he said. â€śAnd it makes you feel good.â€ť
Furthermore, Sunday, Nov. 21, the organization will host a community Thanksgiving dinner, free of charge, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the church, located on 229 W. Mahoning St.
Beyond the Christmas kettles, the church provides all-year aid in the following areas: Emergency food assistance, disaster services, Tuesday and Thursday bread distribution, pastoral counseling and provision in emergency clothing and household goods.
The goal of the Salvation Army, Jache said, is to â€śmeet the need of community both physically and spiritually.â€ť