Red Kettle Campaign Short on Volunteers

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WILKES-BARRE -- The start of the holiday season is just a week away, but people in Luzerne County are already starting to get in the holiday spirit.

The Christmas tree is up in public square in Wilkes-Barre, and you might start hearing bells.

The Salvation Army kicked off its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Thursday, but spokespeople for the organization said they could be in trouble this year.

When you walk into some stores over the next few weeks you'll be greeted with smiles, holiday cheer, and bells.

This is his third holiday season as a Salvation Army bell ringer for Jason Zabicki of Kingston.

“There are a lot of people who do need the help, and this is just my service to them,” said Zabicki.

People from the Salvation Army are concerned they might not be able to reach their goal this year. They have 23 red kettles, but only 11 people have volunteered to help fill them up.

Last year, The Salvation Army's Wilkes-Barre chapter raised $167,000 to go toward Christmas toys, meals, and programming for the less fortunate.

Lieutenant Theodore Tressler, the corps commander for the Wilkes-Barre Salvation Army wants to raise the same amount this year.

“We know that the people in the Wilkes-Barre and Wyoming Valley area are people with a heart, and people really do care and want to help,” said Lt. Tressler.

That's why the Salvation Army in that area is asking for your help to sign up as a red kettle volunteer.

Zabicki said he feels just as good collecting donations as he does making them.

“Most people are very generous and you know, wish me a merry Christmas and happy holidays,” said Zabicki.

Lieutenant Tressler said there are volunteer shortages in West Pittston, Hazleton, and Scranton, as well as Wilkes-Barre.

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer you can call your local Salvation Army office or stop in.