PARKERSBURG - The red kettles of the Salvation Army of Parkersburg Corps are still out collecting money for Christmas.
"We have the largest red kettle in the area with plans to put it at J.C. Penney at the mall this weekend," said Lt. Erik Henry with the Corps.
Henry said they hope to raise several thousand more dollars before the kettles close up for the season on Monday afternoon
"We have three days left and hope to meet our goal of $165,000 by Christmas Eve," he said.
By Thursday, the program had raised more than $130,000 of that goal.
"It can be done," Henry said.
There are two dozen sites around the Mid-Ohio Valley with kettles, which have been out since Veterans Day collecting loose change and other cash donations from shoppers. The sites include the Grand Central Mall, Kroger, Foodland, Big Lots, Kmart, Wal-Mart and Sams Club.
The money collected during the drive will fund Christmas for families that include about 3,000 children throughout the Salvation Army's coverage region. The Corps aids families and individuals in Wood, Calhoun, Jackson, Ritchie, Wirt and Pleasants counties.
The red kettle money goes to purchase a meal basket for each family as well as holiday gifts for children under the age of 12 whose cards were not taken from the Angel Trees by good samaritans.
The Angel Tree toy distribution was held Thursday morning with the majority of the children on the trees having been adopted by community members. Those who were not adopted were provided for by the Salvation Army office.
Last year the Salvation Army Parkersburg Corps aided more than 1,000 families and more than 4,000 children with a boxed Christmas meal of ham and all of the sides along with toys and clothes for the kids.
Although the kettles have been out for a while, Henry said the Salvation Army is always looking for volunteers to ring the bells and man the kettles.
To volunteer, contact Dawn Haught with the organization at 304-485-4529 ext. 203.