Today marks the official start of the Christmas season for The Salvation Army of Central Indiana. At 11:00 a.m. the Annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign kicks off in a public ceremony at Castleton Square Mall on the northeast side of Indy. In addition to community partners and special guests from local media outlets, this year the Cathedral High School Irish Adrenaline show choir will entertain shoppers and kick-off attendees with some music to get us in the Christmas spirit.

We invite you to join us in this celebration and learn about this year’s bell ringing and fundraising efforts. We’re rolling out new credit card readers at select Kroger locations across Central Indiana and will have these new “DipJar” devices on display for everyone to see and try out before they hit the stores tomorrow. With just one quick dip of your credit or debit card you’ll be able to make a $5 donation to help The Salvation Army feed, shelter, and minister to those in need at Christmas and throughout the year.

Adopting an Angel from the Castleton Square Mall Angel Tree

You’ll also have a chance to adopt an Angel from one of our Angel Trees, which will reappear in Castleton Square and Greenwood Park malls on November 27. Today only, guests at the kick-off will be able to adopt Angels early and start shopping for a special child in need right here in our community. (Learn more about the Angel Tree program by visiting our Christmas Assistance page.)

If you can’t make it to the mall, tune in to Facebook, where we’ll be live streaming the event on our Salvation Army Indiana Division page. Tomorrow, the first kettles will begin to appear at retailers throughout the Indy metro area, as well as cities and towns across the state as local Salvation Army units kick off their own Christmas campaigns. If you’re interested in volunteering as a bell ringer, either solo or as part of a group, visit RegisterToRing.com and pick a kettle, date, and time that works with your busy schedule. It’s that easy, and just an hour of bell ringing can raise enough money to feed 13 people!

Circle City Ghostbusters ringing at Circle Center Mall

The Salvation Army also has a great tool for volunteers interested in crowdfunding to help the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign meet its $3.5 million goal. The website RedKettleReason.org lets you set up a virtual kettle, with solo and team options, so that you can crowdfund for a cause that’s close to your heart, like feeding the hungry or making Christmas special for kids in need. Get your virtual red kettle set up today and start crowdfunding with the click of a button.

Thank you to all the partners who are working to make this year’s Red Kettle Christmas Campaign a big success. Look for kettles at your local Kroger, Needler’s Fresh Market, Walmart, Simon Mall, Macy’s, Hobby Lobby, JCPenney, Rural King, Ricker’s, and downtown’s City Market this season, and remember to thank the managers and staff who welcome our bell ringers as a part of the family during the Christmas season.