Where do your kettle donations go?

That familiar jingle and the sight of red kettles are back.

The Salvation Army kicked off its Red kettle campaign to support programs that help thousands of people nationally and in Mid-Michigan.

Friendly Salvation Army bell ringers bearing red kettles now greet shoppers outside mid-Michigan stores.

It's bell-ringer Curtis Williams' first year volunteering for the Red Kettle campaign.

He said the first day of collections was a success.

"Obviously we're at Wal-Mart so they're throwing their change in we got some pretty big donations though," said Curtis.

A $10 donation helps feed one person for a month.

$25 provides one coat for a child.

"This is our one big financial fundraiser for the Salvation Army," said Major Micheal Myers of the Bay City Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army of Mid-Michigan is looking to raise $1.9 million over the next six weeks.

In Bay City, their goal is $225,000 all going back into local programs.

"Send kids to camp for the summer, social services, after school tutoring," said Major Myers.

Bay City Salvation Army prepares more than 40,000 warm meals in its soup kitchen.

They also have new programs like the baby pantry that assists struggling moms.

"We're averaging over 50 a month coming through here. Have baby diapers, baby formula, bottles," said Myers.

All made possible with the jingle of a bell.

"The funds do help. Goes right back out to the community to meet your neighbor," said Myers.

To donate you can drop change/cash into the red kettles across Mid-Michigan.

-Call 877-SAL-MICH

-Log on to

-Text 'GOODMICH' to 80888 to make an automatic $10 donation