ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – The Elmira Salvation Army is launching their seasonal Red Paper Kettle program for any store that wants to participate in raising money for family’s in need during the holidays.

Through the Red Paper Kettle program, customers can purchase a paper kettle donation for one dollar at the cash register of stores and stores can then display all the paper kettle donations they’ve received. All the donations go straight to the Elmira Salvation Army.

Any store can get involved. If you are a business that wants to get involved, all you have to do is contact the Elmira Salvation Army office and they will send you a stack of red paper kettles that you can offer to customers at your store. Contact the Elmira Salvation Office at 607-732-0314 or email Major Stanley Newton at Stanley.Newton@USE.SalvationArmy.org.

Last year, Jubilee Foods and Save A Lot, both owned by Dave Marks, participated and raised $7,500 in donations. Marks matched the donations from his customers and ended up donating $15,000 in total, to the Elmira Salvation Army.

This year Marks said both his stores will be participating in the program again, and that, although it depends on how many donations they get, he does intend on matching the customer donations again this year.

“We’re hoping that some of the other stores, whether that’s a grocery store or any kind of store would be willing to do this, this year,” said organizer Major Stanley Newton.

The program is an alternative to the traditional on-site red kettles that collect donations.

“With COVID and the pandemic and everything going on times are rough about trying to get people to man the kettles… it’s just another way to try and make up for some of the funds we might come up short on the regular traditional kettles,” said Major Newton.