Lia Pontarelli is spokeswoman for the charity, which is seeking hundreds of volunteers to staff positions outside grocery stores and shopping malls.
“During our Christmas campaign, we raise about 40% of our annual operating budget,” she says, “so it really helps set the pace for what we are going to be able to do throughout the entire year in the community.”
More than 22,000 people signed up for one or more of the Omaha-based chapter’s programs in 2013.
Pontarelli says they’re trying to use technology and social media to help out with donations.
“We’re encouraging people to be an on-line bell ringer. You can set up a kettle yourself and you can send an e-blast out, you can post it on your social media and you can help be a bell ringer in your pajamas, on your couch or in front of your fireplace,” Pontarelli explains.
Modern economics have hurt the kettle campaigns as Pontarelli says people don’t carry as much money with them as they used to.
If you haven’t spotted a kettle yet, she suggests making a donation online, using www.onlineredkettle.org.