HONOLULU (KHON2) – In less than five months, Christmas is already here. 

But unlike most of us, the Salvation Army is already in their preparations for the season and one of those preparations include, who am I? 

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The bell ringers for the Red Kettle Campaign that you see as you enter many different stores around town. 

To find out more about this, we are here with Major Eric Tumale who is a Corps Officer here at Salvation Army. 

Tell us a little bit about this Red Kettle Campaign.

“The Red Kettle Campaign is the primary fundraising efforts of the Salvation Army where all the funds that are collected will help people in need throughout the years through our social services and programs,” says Major Eric Tumale.

So, this year, tell us who you are looking for in terms of volunteers and what they can expect as they go throughout the season.

“We are looking for those individuals who are passionate in giving back to their community,” says Tumale.

“A bell ringer can be an individual, it could be a group of friends, families and coworkers. They can volunteer for at least two hours per shift, and we are in need of 10-12 volunteer bell ringers per day from November to December,” says Tumale.

You take into account this year when we have pandemic poverty, we have the inflation that everyone is going through. 

Do you anticipate funds that are raised this year to be less than previous years?

“Considering the current situation, we are anticipating for more families and individuals coming to our services looking for different kinds of assistance during the holiday season as well as in the coming year 2023,” says Tumale.

Tumale explains, “I believe that during times of need, people are more generous. During these past two years when we are hit with the pandemic, I’m seeing more people who are helping other people that are in need. We are so thankful for those individuals in our community for helping us help others.”

And just real quick, through the pandemic, I know you guys have been super busy.

What have you guys been focusing on as we’ve gone through this pandemic?

“Through the pandemic, we assisted individuals and families to make sure that they have, to address food and security through our food pantry,” says Tumale.

“There are 200 individuals and families coming to our pantry on a weekly basis. In addition to that, we want to make sure that kids that are participating in free food at the school through the cafeteria, they have also food supplement during the week. There are some other kids out there that their means of food may be the food served in the cafeteria, so we want to make sure that when they get home, they have enough food supplies to eat during the weekends.”

Thank you very much for your time, Major Eric, and thank you for the Salvation Army for everything you guys do. 

Again, they are looking for bell ringers for the Red Kettle Campaign come this Christmas. 

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If you want to help out and contribute to your community this year, click here.