"This will be my fourth Christmas here," Cartersville Corps Capt. John Fuller said. "I've [seen] some of the same families and individuals ring because they feel that giving something back helps us to be able to help the community more. And the clubs and organizations feel that same way too, that by helping us we can help more people in the community at this time of year."
Although many have signed up, The Salvation Army still is in need of volunteers to serve for about two hours. Individuals can request times to assist in the drive by calling 770-387-9955.
This year, the nonprofit hopes to raise $40,000 through its Red Kettle campaign, surpassing last year's total of $37,750. The public's donations will remain in Bartow County, enabling the local Salvation Army to increase its level of services, from purchasing Christmas toys for children to providing food assistance.
With it being one of the Cartersville nonprofit's largest public fundraisers, the campaign supplies at least 10 percent of its operating budget, which includes dispensing social services to financially struggling residents. From October 2009 through September, the Cartersville Corps provided aid -- food and financial assistance with utility bills, medications and rent -- to 3,126 individuals.
"We have seen the greatest influx this past year that we've ever had," said Cartersville Corps Capt. Nancy Fuller, referring to the number of people seeking help. "One of the main things that people say when they come in is that they never thought they would be in this position.
"They've always been on the giving [side] instead of the receiving. So we have so many new clients that are coming in. It's just incredible. Most of it's due to not being able to make ends meet and being without a job. I've never seen so many people without jobs."