With the holidays quickly approaching, it is often a time to think of helping others in need.
The Salvation Army began its annual kettle campaign at Fifth and Penn streets in downtown Reading on Monday. The hope is to help families throughout the area this holiday season.
"The red kettles will help us to bring in a significant amount for our budget for the year that we are able to use for assistance for everything for utilities to clothing, to food, to housing, whatever the emergency need may be in the community," said Mindy McCormick, the Salvation Army's director of social services.
The goal this year is to raise $200,000.
"We are so fortunate to be in a position where the money that goes into the kettle goes right out to the people who need it," said McCormick.
The kettle campaign helps the Salvation Army meet needs throughout the year, including distributing 1,000 boxes for Thanksgiving and almost 2,000 for Christmas.
With Reading being the second poorest city in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, McCormick said the need continues to grow.
"We see people who a few years ago were volunteering and helping and purchasing things for other families, who are now coming in and saying, 'I need the help. I do not know what I am going to do this year,' and they find themselves in a position where it is struggling to pay the mortgage this month or give their children Christmas," said McCormick.
You can find red kettles scattered throughout Berks County during the next six weeks.