The Christmas season has officially started for The Salvation Army.
The agency kicked off its Red Kettle Campaign on Friday, and it will run through Christmas Eve.
Major Richard Trimmell, regional coordinator for The Salvation Army, said the agency's overall Tree of Lights Christmas program kicks off with Jefferson City Mayor Eric Struemph's Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 5.
"Our goal for the kettles is $100,600," Trimmell said. "Our overall (Christmas program) goal announcement will be at the mayor's kickoff."
Trimmell said bell ringers will be placed at 22 locations around town, including major department and grocery stores.
Trimmell is a bell ringer and said his favorite part of the experience is watching kids' eyes light up when they get a chance to ring the bell.
In addition to the Red Kettle Campaign, the ministry's Tree of Lights program also includes sending letters to possible donors around Christmas.
Trimmell said Tree of Lights funds about 25 percent of The Salvation Army's budget.
The proceeds stay local, funding the ministry's Christmas efforts, which include a community Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, a toy shop that helps 300 families in Cole County, the Christmas Adopt-a-Family program and the ministry's holiday visits to nursing homes. The proceeds also help fund activities throughout the year involving the ministry's social service department and shelter.