Bellringers Toll Early Giving

This article is more than 12 years old.

Around this time every year, Red Kettle bell tolls across the country. For more than a century, during the holiday season, the Salvation Army has run its annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign. This year, it began two weeks early.

We visited one of Boston's longstanding Red Kettle locations, Downtown Crossing, on Monday. Among those who dropped a donation into the kettle was Claire, who is from Brazil. We asked her why she decided to give. "It's good that we help everybody else who need it," she said. "If you have a heart, just a little help, some people need it."

More people than ever need it right now. That's a challenge, when holiday donations were down eight percent last year and individual and group donors are feeling squeezed this year.

But so far, so good. Major Bob Kountz of the Massachusetts Division of the Salvation Army says that donations are up in the first few weeks of the 2008 Red Kettle campaign. He talks with WBUR's Bob Oakes about expectations for this season.

This program aired on December 2, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

Bob Oakes Twitter Host, Morning Edition
Bob Oakes has been WBUR's Morning Edition anchor since 1992.