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Salvation Army brings out red kettles, bell ringers to help those in need amid pandemic

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TUCSON (KVOA) - It's that time of year again where the Salvation Army dispatches their red kettles and bell ringers all over town to help those in need. 

But this year, it's a little different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday's kick-off presented 2019's Group Challange Awards to the Salvation Army Advisory Board of Tucson, the Kiwani's and Rotary Clubs of Tucson. 

The Salvation Army is hoping to bring in $500,000 this year, surpassing last year's $280,000.

Twenty percent of their annual operating budget comes from these critical donations to help fund their many assistance programs, distribute toys to the little ones and provide meals, especially around the holidays.

But 2020 has presented a new obstacle.

"This year because of the pandemic, we lost many locations to ring bells," Ellen Oh of the Salvation Army said. "So we are grateful for other locations of stores that are allowing us still to ring the bells."

This year, they will be at only half of the locations they had last year making those donations more important than ever.

If you would like to donate online to their virtual red kettle, visit tucsonredkettle.org. To volunteer as a bell ringer, visit volunteer.usawest.org.

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