The bells of the red kettles are ringing all over Houston and the people are apparently answering the call. Major Chris Flanagan says Houston is on pace to break its own record for red kettle giving.
"Last year it was at $1.2 just over $1.2 and this year our goal is $1.3 million, and it looks if things continue to go the way they’re going, then with us being 7 percent over where we were at this time last year, we should be able to reach that $1.3 million mark."
Flanagan says prior to 2009, red kettle donations had never reached $1 million. But since then, donations have increased each year, despite the economic slowdown. Flanagan says many of the people who went through tough times are the ones doing the giving.
"I can’t even begin to tell you how many people will say two years ago you helped me, or this past year you helped me and this is my way of giving back. It just speaks even more of how generous even in difficult times this community is."
Major Flanagan says the money isn’t just to give children in need Christmas presents — much of it helps pay for the programs the Salvation Army runs throughout the year.
"Anything that’s left over goes into the budget to operate the 18 facilities that we have throughout the city. The Harbor lights center, the family residence, the single women’s shelter that we have the various Boys and Girls clubs that we over see — the after school programs that we do."
If you’re not much of a shopper and don’t pass by a red kettle very often, you can also go to the Salvation Army’s website and donate through Online Red Kettle.org.