Carol Regnier donates money while volunteer Debra Vickers rings a bell during The Salvation Army's annual Red Kettle Drive kickoff at The Anderson's store in West Toledo.
The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
The local Salvation Army kicked off its annual Red Kettle holiday fund-raising efforts today by setting up stations outside business locations in northwest Ohio.
This year's goal is to raise $570,000, said Salvation Army Capt. Kevin Zanders. The organization collected $550,000 in 2011.
"The need is great, but the people in this area of Toledo have been so great in the past," Mr. Zanders said during a kick-off ceremony held at The Andersons general store in Maumee.
Funds raised will be used to provide area families with food, toys, and clothing at Christmas, Salvation Army officials said. Funds are also used to stock the organization's food pantry, youth programs, outreach ministries, and other emergency services.
A total of 56 Red Kettle stations will be located at various Toledo area businesses through Dec. 24, Mr. Zanders said. Those locations include Kmart, Walgreens, Hobby Lobby, Bass Pro, Sam's Club, The Andersons, Wal-mart, Big Lots, and Krogers.