ST. CLOUD -- Bells will be ringing throughout central Minnesota this weekend. The St. Cloud Salvation Army is kicking off their 2019 Kettle Season Friday.

The organization hopes to raise $210,000 locally, while their overall first quarter goal is $515,000. All proceeds will go back into their programs to help families in need.

Laura Douvier is the Kettle Coordinator and says new this year is all kettles will be equipped with Apple Pay and Google Pay technology.

It's very exciting now in addition to cash donations they can just use their Apple Pay or Google Pay and pay through that and the money will go directly toward the area where their zip code is recognized.

She says they are also looking volunteer bell ringers are still needed to help staff their 18 kettle locations in the St. Cloud area. The red kettle campaign will run through Christmas Eve.

Douvier says in addition to the kettles they've also partnered with the Sartell Walmart for their Toy Shop Program.

The store has two large Christmas trees in their entry way and people can go there and grab a tag and buy a toy and then they can leave it in the box at the store.

Douvier says shoppers are asked to leave the tag from the tree with the gift.

The toys will then be collected by the Salvation Army and given to children and families in the St. Cloud area. The Toy Shop Program runs through December 23rd.

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