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The Salvation Army San Marcos and Hays County blessed the bells for its annual Red Kettle Campaign on Tuesday. Above, attendees at the Salvation Army San Marcos Service Center smile during a group photo following the annual event. Below, Brother Jim Lanning blesses the bells and speaks to the crowd gathered on Tuesday. Daily Record photos by Nick Castillo

BLESSING THE BELLS: Salvation Army ready for annual Red Kettle Campaign, seeking volunteers

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Salvation Army San Marcos and Hays County will soon be filling the air with the sounds of bells ringing as the annual Red Kettle Campaign begins.

Volunteers with the Salvation Army will start ringing bells Friday with the official campaign taking place from Nov. 29 through Christmas Eve.

Lisa Cruz, Salvation Army San Marcos Service Center Manager, said the hope is to raise $60,000 this year.

“This is how we get our funds to keep emergency programs going all-year-around,” said Cruz, noting that Salvation Army provides utility assistance, transportation assistance, prescription assistance, birth certificates and IDs as well as its weekly food pantry on Thursdays.

Salvation Army San Marcos and Hays County hosted its annual blessing of the bells event Tuesday, marking the unofficial kick off to this year’s Red Kettle Campaign.

Brother Jim Lanning, who led the prayer during Tuesday’s ceremony, highlighted the importance of volunteering to ring the bells.

“All over the world, you see this little fella right here,” said Lanning, pointing at a Salvation Army Red Kettle. “But this is not enough. You have to have somebody there. You have to have somebody that represents folks. And, what you’re doing of course is representing Jesus. That’s who you’re really representing.”

The Salvation Army is “an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in his name without discrimination,” according to its website.

Volunteers will ring the bells at Walmart locations in San Marcos, Kyle and Buda. The red kettles will also be at Sam’s Club, Hobby Lobby and JCPenny’s in San Marcos as well as Cabela’s in Buda and Brookshire Brothers in Wimberley.

San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson thanked all of those who volunteer with the Salvation Army during Tuesday’s event.

“I’ll be signing up to ring. I ring most years,” Hughson said. “So, y’all know we have a lot of need in our community. So, thank you for what you do and seeing how much we can meet that need and how much we can help people.”

The Salvation Army is seeking volunteers for two-hour shifts that will volunteer throughout the day. Bell ringing will take place from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. All personal protective equipment will be provided by the Salvation Army. The organization is inviting volunteers to come with family, friends, work groups, church groups, community groups or university groups.

To volunteer, reach out to Kettle Coordinator Debby Ruiz at 737-213-6314, or visit

“Really, we need volunteers — volunteer bell ringers,” Cruz said. “This is the one time a year that we get a chance to make funds to help us throughout the year for those programs.”

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666