TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Topeka Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign kicks off Friday in Topeka. The non-profit hopes to raise $237,000 through this year’s campaign.
This year’s campaign launch will be a scaled back event due to the pandemic. It will be at the Topeka Salvation Army at 1320 Southeast 6th Avenue in Topeka Friday at 12:00 p.m.
Director Captain Cristian Lopez said they plan to have less than 10 people at the event. He also said they are setting up drive-thru donations to help with social distancing.
“We’re going to ring bells outside and if people want to donate they can stop,” Lopez said. “We’ll bring the bucket and they can donate the money in the bucket without getting out of the car.”
The Red Kettle campaign helps fund things like emergency rent and utility assistance and meal programs. Lopez said they have seen increased interest in these programs during the pandemic.
At the same time, some volunteers are deciding not to participate this year due to the pandemic.
“We are trying our best to keep them safe,” Lopez said. “We are providing them with a mask. We provide them with wipes that way they can clean the kettle every single time that someone donates.”
The Salvation Army is also pushing mobile donations. There will be codes on each red kettle that people can scan with their phone. This will allow them to donate online and cut down on the interaction with bell ringers.
Lopez said if they don’t find enough volunteers, they will have to hire bell ringers which will eat in to the campaign’s profits. Click here to sign up to volunteer.