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MAUMEE, OH (Toledo News Now) -
On Friday, The Salvation Army officially kicked off its annual Red Kettle campaign at The Andersons in Maumee.
Dan Anderson, from The Andersons, is the honorary chairperson for this year's campaign.
"The Bells are just a sign that we are here and that there are people that are in need," said Capt. Kevin Zanders with The Salvation Army.
For the last four years, Nickol Campos-Sanchez has been unemployed. She credits The Salvation Army for helping her get through the hard times.
"If it wasn't for them, my kids wouldn't have had a Christmas," said Campos-Sanchez.
Not only does the sound of the bell kick off the Red Kettle campaign, it also kick starts the possibility for change in an individual or family's life.
"I've gone from an abusive home with my children, and we were basically homeless. And through the help of The Salvation Army, I've got help with shelter, food, new clothing for my kids - because we were left with nothing," said Campos-Sanchez.
Each penny, nickel, and dime add up to almost 20 percent of The Salvation Army's annual budget. The money raised during the Red Kettle campaign stays in northwest Ohio and is used for various social services programs, such as utility assistance, tax assistance, rent assistance, budgeting classes, and food pantries.
"When people hear the bells they just need to think of those other individuals that might be struggling and might need a little extra assistance. And this is just a good way for them to show that kind of support," explained Zanders.
In the greater Toledo area, there will be more than 50 Red Kettle locations, including The Andersons, Walmart, Kroger, Walt Churhill's Market, Bass Pro, Sam's Club, and Hobby Lobby locations.
The Salvation Army hopes to raise $575,000 by its Christmas Eve deadline.
If you don't have cash on you but would still like to donate, you can donate $10 by texting "Change Toledo" to 80888.