Salvation Army kicks off its Tree of Lights Campaign

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Springfield, Mo. -- Starting today the Salvation Army will be out ringing bells to raise money for its Tree of Lights Campaign.

KY3 will be outside Bass Pro ringing next to the red kettle throughout the day.

The money raised is not only used to provide Christmas assistance. Funds are used to operate programs and services provided all year long and all the money stays local.

"It's the time of the year that we raise funds to first and most importantly help families at Christmas time," Major Butch Frost, with the Salvation Army, said. "So that all the kids when they wake up on that Christmas morning the excitement is there and the toys are under their Christmas trees, but also the funds that we do raise this Christmas season helps all the programs that we do in the next year."

Eighty two-cents out of every dollar goes to direct service.

There are nearly 18,000 hours of bell ringing to be filled this year.

The Salvation Army offers a wide variety of programs including shelter, feeding programs, food pantry assistance and emergency social services.

"With the frontline feeding program, what many people don't realize is that feeding program every day feeds approximately 186 people from 12 to1 o'clock," Major Butch Frost said.

"So every day our building is filled with individuals and the scary piece is we did a survey not too long ago and 86-percent of those individuals are homeless right now living on the street."

KY3 will be out ringing next to the red kettle starting at 7 a.m. when Bass Pro opens.

If you can't attend you can text SGF to 41444.

Culvers is also donating a portion of its proceeds today to the red kettle kick off.

At 5:30 p.m. the Salvation Army plans to release just how much it hopes to raise.

Read the original version of this article at www.ky3.com.