The Tamaqua Salvation Army held their 2010 Red Kettle Kickoff Celebration over the weekend at the Tamaqua Depot Square Park to start their 2010 holiday red kettle campaign.

The kickoff included prayers, music, and Christmas carols sang by Tamaqua Salvation Army volunteers and onlookers.

During the event, Tamaqua Mayor Chris Morrison pointed out his appreciation to the dedicated Salvation Army volunteers and other local community volunteers that help the less fortunate during the holiday season.

The Red Kettle Christmas Campaign enables the Army to provide food, toys and clothing to well deserving families during the Christmas season. Some donations also help more than 34 million Americans recovering from all kinds of personal disasters nationwide. The Red Kettle campaign, first started in San Francisco in 1891, has traditionally been The Salvation Army's most prominent fund-raiser. The funds raised help support many of the 37 million people in poverty who turn to the Army for food and toys at Christmas, utility and homeless assistance, senior and child care, drug abuse treatment and many other social service needs.

First kettle donators for 2010 were Mayor Morrison and Abigail Fredericks, 3.

Major Sharon Whispell stressed that they are in need of volunteer bell ringers this holiday season. Please call the Salvation Army at (570) 668-0410 Monday to Friday or (570) 668-1234 anytime to help or for more information. Donations can be dropped off or mailed to: Tamaqua Salvation Army, 105 W. Broad St., Tamaqua PA 18252.

Whispell said, "The Tamaqua Salvation Army provides food and other necessities year-round, not just during the holidays. That is why we greatly appreciate all donations from the community, no matter how much."