ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – This weekend you’ll begin to see those familiar red kettles and hear bells ringing. The Salvation Army is kicking off its Tree of Lights campaign from now until Christmas.

Organizers hope to raise $6.3 million this Christmas season to help those in need. About a third of that comes from some 200 area kettles manned by bellringers. Another third comes from corporate donations, and the final third from people who give by mail.

Salvation Army Major Lonneal Richardson says each year the number of people asking for help grows. “Every time there is a cut or some kind of impact by the government that translates to individuals trying to find other means to make it.”

Richardson says people come to the Salvation Army to get help with their mortgage, prescriptions, food, and other service that “we typically would not think of.”

Along with monetary donations the Salvation Army is asking for the public’s help filling the St. Louis area with the spirit of the season.

The Army is in need of donated pine or blue spruce trees to place throughout the region during the Tree of Lights Campaign.

Organizers say the ideal trees will be 30-40 feet tall and easily accessible in a person’s yard with no electrical lines overhead.

The Army will remove the trees free-of-charge in November.

Donors will also receive a letter recognizing their donation to use for tax purposes.

For more information or to offer a tree, please call Angie Merseal at (314) 646-3193.


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