Red Kettle Campaign Kicks Off in the Poconos

EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- It's that time of year when you'll hear bells ringing and see red kettles outsides businesses for the Salvation Army's biggest fundraiser of the year.

"Well this is about 15 to 20 percent of our budget for the year. A lot of times people see the red kettle and think the funds are just used at Christmas, but these funds have to go to some of our programs throughout the year," said Major Gilbert Parkhurst, East Stroudsburg Salvation Army.

This year's campaign is very special for Major Gilbert Parkhurst; it's his first with theĀ East Stroudsburg Salvation Army.

"What is exciting for me here is the number of volunteers that we get. All the red kettles you see in Monroe County are manned 100 percent by volunteers and it's great for me to see that," said Major Parkhurst.

This holiday season, you'll see bell ringers all throughout Monroe County but one place where you'll definitely hear the bell is at the Stroud Mall. The man manning the kettle and ringing the bell is Danny Ockenhouse, a well-known greeter in the Poconos. He's been a volunteer for 12 years.

"Well, I have fun. This is fun and it's for a good cause," saidĀ  Ockenhouse.

Martin Labar from East Stroudsburg gave his contribution. He says he's seen firsthand how this organization helps people.

"I think it's a wonderful thing. I always give to the Salvation Army because they always helped me when I was in the Army," said Labar.

The Red Kettle Campaign runs through December 24.

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