The annual red kettle bell ringing fundraiser kicked off Friday morning in Houston.

Money collected will be used to provide emergency assistance to needy people. Texas County Food Pantry director Bennie Cook said the Salvation Army service unit of Texas County has been working all year long to make sure county residents do not face a crisis or emergency alone by providing assistance in the form of lodging, transportation, clothing, furniture, groceries, healthcare, school supplies and more. Statewide services include utility assistance, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, correctional services and homeless shelters.

Cook said the goal this year is to raise $20,000 and that 85 percent of the total will stay in Texas County.

“This holiday season, when you hear the ringing of a Salvation Army bell and see the red kettle, please offer your support,” Cook said. “We need your help even more this year as funding cuts take effect and even more people come to us with emergency needs.”

Anyone interested in helping raising funds can sign up to be a bell ringer by calling the food pantry at 417-967-4484. 

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