The Salvation Army chimed in its classic red kettle season Thursday.

At the front doors of Marketplace in Madisonville, Maj. Mike Good announced the Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff and the goal to raise $100,000 through the kettle campaign.

"That seems like a lot, but I believe that we can reach that goal

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if everyone that comes by helps out with a donation," said Good. "This year we have kettle sponsors - agencies and individuals. There are five different donation levels, when people donate to us, whatever level, we can put their business or their name and put it on the sign (above a kettle)."

Last year, the local kettle campaign raised $76,000, and Good hopes that the new sponsorships will bring in additional funds.

"That $100,000 is 60% of our budget," he said. "Now that we have the shelter open, it's going to take extra money."

Over the last three weeks, almost 75 people have been helped by the Salvation Army's shelter. During the cold weather, when it drops below freezing, the shelter becomes a cold-weather shelter.

"You can bring anyone off the street into the temporary shelter so they won't freeze," said Good. "And you'd be surprised; we didn't realize that there were that many people that needed help in this town."

Good invited a few of the Salvation Army's board members to speak and open in prayer, as well as Madisonville's Mayor Kevin Cotton. Good said that Cotton was instrumental in finding funds to help open shelter.

"We were able to help them get some seed money to get kicked off and get started and open the shelter up. The Salvation Army has been instrumental in helping our homelessness situation in the community," said Cotton after the presentation. "Through opening the shelter, they've been able to get housing for individuals coming in. They work with them; they find opportunities for them to get on their feet. Sometimes, that's all it takes is somebody taking time and having the compassion to serve them and work with them -- and the Salvation Army does that."

The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers for each of their 24 kettle stations, and they are always open to volunteers at their facilities.

"Any opportunity that people want to come and volunteer, they can come down and take a tour, they can come and serve meals at the shelter," said Good.

To volunteer at the shelter or to ring a bell, you may contact Cassie Homes at 270-825-3620.

As well as volunteers, they are always excepting donations from food to socks to monetary. Homes said they take it all because they need it to help the people of the community.

"Anyway that anybody can help, we would be grateful," she said.

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