GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you start to hear bells ringing around West Michigan, it’s because the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign kicks off Friday. The goal this year is to raise $1.6 million.

The campaign is now in its 131st year. The Salvation Army, in partnership with SpartanNash, will host a kickoff event at 12 p.m. at the Salvation Army Kroc Center. Highlights of the program include a proclamation from Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, a performance by the Salvation Army Brass Band and two local musicians and a free lunch.

The theme of this year’s campaign, Hope Marches On, will highlight the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and recognize how poverty still affects many people in West Michigan.

The money raised from the Red Kettle Campaign goes toward services including food assistance, housing resources, supporting those will substance use disorders, youth programs, and helping disaster victims.

The Salvation Army is encouraging people to sign up to be bell ringers. They say more than 50 sites in Kent County are in need. Shifts are two hours. People can also sign up to be virtual bell ringers and raise money online.

You can donate toward the Red Kettle Campaign in person at a red kettle, online at, or by calling 1.800.SAL.ARMY. 

Officials say 82 cents of every dollar goes back into funding programming and all donations stay within the community in which they are given.