(HawaiiNewsNow) - The Salvation Army officially kicked off its annual holiday bellringing campaign at Tamarind Park on Bishop Square in Downtown Honolulu on Monday, November 19. Mayor Peter Carlisle was on hand to make the first ceremonial donation to the red kettles. He spent time ringing the bell joined by members of the Salvation Army Advisory Board at four street corners on Bishop and King Streets.
The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program was also officially launched in partnership with Central Pacific Bank. CEO and President John Dean announced that all branches of the bank will start accepting donations of toys and other gift items for needy children and seniors starting November 23. Monetary donations from the public will also be accepted to help The Salvation Army's holiday giving program. Other Angel Trees located at major shopping malls will start on November 23. The program ends on December 16 to allow time for The Salvation Army to distribute the gifts to families before Christmas.
"In addition to the traditional on-the-street red kettles, The Salvation Army is continuing to embrace new technologies to encourage donor growth," says Major John Chamness, divisional commander of The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army is extending an invitation to the public to become a "virtual" bell ringer so that they may "ring" the bell in the comfort of their home. Anyone can easily set up an online Red Kettle and invite friends and family to fill their online kettle. Donations go directly to help the charitable programs of The Salvation Army not only during the holidays but year-round. To sign up as a virtual bellringer, click HERE!
A musical entertainment program at the kickoff event was hosted by Bruddah Wade of KINE Radio featuring the Royal Hawaiian Band.