That familiar ring around the Twin Cities resumes Saturday, when hundreds of red kettles stand ready for holiday season donations.
The Salvation Army’s “Rock the Red Kettle” kickoff festivities begin at 8:30 a.m., with a ceremony at Cub Foods at 60th Street and Nicollet Avenue S.
Hundreds of bell ringers will staff the kettles at 56 Cub stores in the metro area and at the Mall of America from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Day One, Hormel Foods is doubling every kettle donation up to $50,000. Cub will also make what the Salvation Army is calling “a huge monetary donation.”
“Last year’s ‘Rock the Red Kettle’ raised a record-setting $113,000, [and] our goal is to shatter that record this year,” said Maj. Jeff Strickler, commander of the Twin Cities Salvation Army.
The overall holiday fundraising campaign goal this season is $10.8 million: $3.6 million from the kettles and the rest from online donations, corporate gifts and contributions in the mail, Salvation Army spokeswoman Annette Bauer said.
Last year’s goal was $9.8 million, “and it looked like we were not going to make that goal,” Bauer said. “But the week after Christmas, we received more than $1 million — including a check for $250,000 from a first-time giver and a $100,000 check from another individual.”
Final take for 2012: $10.8 million.
Kettle donations feed Salvation Army programs. For example, on Monday, the first day of registration, nearly 650 families signed up for Christmas assistance, the charity said.
For prospective volunteers, there are more than 120,000 hours of bell-ringing shifts available at roughly 500 Twin Cities metro area kettle sites. Those wishing to ring can sign up at www.salvationarmynorth.org or call 651-746-3519.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482