The annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive begins its yearly effort to help people in need during the holiday season on Friday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. at the corner of
Church Street and Maple Avenue.

The annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive begins its yearly effort to help people in need during the holiday season on Friday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. at the corner of
Church Street and Maple Avenue.

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl is scheduled to be the official Bell Ringer for the evening. This season’s goal is $175,000 which will assist Evanston families.

Other helpers that evening include Northwestern University athletes, members of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston, Salvation Army staff and Advisory Council and the Salvation Army band.

“We need volunteers to help us through the holiday season,” said Major Alberto Rapley of the Army’s Evanston Corps. “There are a variety of ways the community can assist us in making this a meaningful Christmas for those are struggling through difficult times.”

Bell ringers, gift wrappers in neighborhood book stores, dinner servers for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as those who can help assemble holiday food baskets can make a valuable contribution of their time to help others. There’s even a chance to play Santa’s helper, bagging toys and clothing for children.

For those who love to sing holiday songs, the Army will be caroling at local nursing homes – no auditions required, just a big heart and a willing voice.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities for this holiday season, call the Salvation Army, 847-866-9770 or stop by the headquarters at 1403 Sherman Ave.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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