YAKIMA, WA- The Salvation Army raises millions of dollars every year throughout the Nation with their Red Kettle Campaign. 

The ringing bell is a familiar sound during the holiday season and it's an annual tradition. 

It started "about 120 years ago in San Francisco and it was a way for the officer there stationed in San Francisco to put on a big meal for people in his community," said Salvation Army Lieutenant, Nicholas Helms.

Most of the red kettles are set up outside stores during December holiday shopping.

"The idea behind it is pretty simple we ring the bell, we are collecting money so can make sure the programs and services that we offer throughout the year are funded," said Lieutenant Helms. 

With modern technology there are less and less people carrying cash but this year mobile donations were part of the campaign.

Lieutenant Helms said this years each "kettle stand [had] a sticker there that has a QR code and then also an NFC tag," this allows for you to make donations via your mobile phone. 

There is not an official count for know how much money was raised through mobile donations yet but he said every little bit counts.

"You would be so surprised that the amount of change that comes in each and one of those kettles. On a daily basis it could be anything from $400 to $800 dollars just in coins so every quarter that you put in really goes a long way," said Helms

This year the Salvation Army Surpassed it's goal of raising $100,000.00

Instead they raised $111,056.00 despite having less days to raise money and a few obstacles through the season. 

Lieutenant Helms says his goal is to get everyone in Yakima involved.

"If we could get every person in Yakima to donate $1 to the red kettle over the course of the season it would help us go a long way," said Helms. 

https://yakima.salvationarmy.org/yakima_corps/

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