MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) – The Salvation Army of Fox Cities kicked off its 2023 Red Kettle Campaign Wednesday.

“We don’t know what the next family or the next individual is going to come across, what crisis they’re going to come across, whether that’s a pandemic that we’ve experienced, a tragedy within the family, or the loss of a job,” Kristal Knudtson, Salvation Army Fox Cities director of development and marketing communications, said. “Swipe the bottom of your purse or in your car if you’re still using cash. If not, we have ways like Apple Pay and QR codes that you can donate online.”

The campaign brings in over half the annual income for the Salvation Army chapter. Last year, the Red Kettle Campaign raised $1.3 million combined with Green Bay.

“No matter what size your family is, come on in. We got your back. We’ll meet you where you’re at,” Knudtson said. “We have homes scattered throughout the community with children and families that we can help support and keep a roof over their heads.”

A special emphasis is being put on the need for volunteer bell ringers this year to help bring in more donations.

“I might as well just try to give back. I feel like it’s nice,” Merrick Tobin said of his first-day volunteering. “I know there’s people out there that need it. I don’t need it, but I know that others do, and I feel like me being here can help that.”

Bob Mickelson, ringing his bell alongside Tobin, has been volunteering during the Red Kettle Campaign for a decade.

“I just want to do my part,” he said.