PORTAGE, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kalamazoo Salvation Army rang in the holiday season Friday morning with the kickoff of its Red Kettle Campaign.

The group launched the campaign at Blain’s Farm and Fleet in Portage. The event featured hot cocoa, donuts and the Salvation Army Band.

Now, the iconic red kettles will start popping up around town, aiming to reach the $476,000 goal.

Maj. Ronnie Amick says the red kettles are more than a fundraiser — they’re a symbol of unity and compassion.

“It’s really more than a campaign. It’s a service campaign,” Amick said. “When you put money in a kettle, you’re putting food on somebody’s table. When you put money in a kettle, you’re helping a single mother provide diapers and support for her children. Or when you put money in a kettle, you’re putting electricity in somebody’s house.”

If you don’t have cash, some locations around Kalamazoo will include tap-to-pay options. All the money donated stays in the area.