EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - An Evansville non-profit says they serve lunch to about 1,000 people every week. It’s service that’s greatly appreciated by those who are in need.
On Christmas Eve Day, the Salvation Army Corps and Community Center served roughly 125 people, but that wouldn’t be possible without the men and woman standing outside of stores while ringing a bell, with a red kettle beside them.
"Everybody has been so generous," said Marilyn Cadarelli, a bell ringer. "I absolutely adore it. I've been meeting all these people, and it's for an excellent cause," said Cardelli.
Red Kettle bell ringers have been a long-standing tradition, dating back more than 100 years.
"Their mission is to help other people and help the homeless as much as they can, and they're doing a pretty good job at it," said Emmett Jones, who eats lunch during the week at the Salvation Army Corps and Community Center.
The slogan behind the red kittle is to “Keep the Pot Boiling” and that’s inspired strangers to give their spare change before walking into the store to shop.
Keeping the pot boiling allows people like Emmett Jones, who is wheelchair-bound, to leave lunch with a full stomach and hope.
"As far as I seen they help everybody, and ship foods to different places," said Jones.
That's exactly the mission Major Loren Carter with the Salvation Army strives for.
"Doing the most good for the most people possible," said Carter.
That way the bells continue to ring, and folks in need are fed.
The Salvation Army in Evansville says in 2019, about $241,000 was brought in by those volunteers and generous donors.
Christmas Eve was the last day the bell ringers will jingle this holiday season.