NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – The holiday season in the middle of a pandemic means changes for an iconic symbol. The Salvation Army has made some adjustments to the Red Kettle with fewer people signing up to ring a bell this year.
“I'm the kind of person I talk to everybody that comes in the door, everybody that leaves. I wish them a happy holiday or a Merry Christmas and so I felt there would be a lot of contact with folks that could make me at risk,” Bob Britton, a volunteer said.
Britton has been a volunteer for more than 15 years. This year, he's hosting an online Red Kettle due to the pandemic.
“That's understandable as people are concerned. So, at places we do not have volunteers, they may see the new standalone kettle,” Major Ethan Frizzell with the Salvation Army in Nashville said.
With fewer people signing up to volunteer, that’s why they came up with the new idea.
"You know today we're standing in front of the Salvation Army Center of Hope. Upstairs are families who are doing their schoolwork and who are about to get dinner. That's what the kettle provides,” Frizzell said.
The concern is donations will be down. Nationally, Frizzell said the Salvation Army is expecting a 50% reduction.
“So, we're hoping not to have a significant decline, but we're also very concerned because we don't have this traditional way of bringing hope to the community,” Frizzell said.
For Britton, he wants to raise as much as he did last year. He believes the community will step up too.
“I think we'll do well. I'm sure it won't be as good as last year, but I'm confident that Nashville will rise to the occasion,” Britton said.
Those wanting to get involved either online or in-person can do so through the Salvation Army of Nashville.