The official kickoff of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign comes tomorrow at halftime of the Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day Game, but the Tyler Salvation Army has already launched its efforts. And they need volunteers! This could be a great thing to do with your family this holiday season.

Tyler Salvation Army members were at Broadway Square Mall earlier this month to launch the Red Kettle campaign, and that means we'll be seeing those buckets outside of our favorite stores through Christmas.

Over the past few years I've seen kids out there ringing bells with their parents, which I think is such an awesome idea.  As the kids prepare to get spoiled with games, toys, and electronics under their own trees, this is a great way to give back and keep everything in perspective.

Just contact our local Salvation Army chapter to get involved.

The Salvation Army of Tyler
903-592-4361
633 N. Broadway Avenue
Tyler, TX 75702

You can also go to RedKettleVolunteer.org to get signed up.

On a national level, about 3.3 million people volunteer with the Salvation Army each year, and the time that they need the most volunteers is between now and Christmas.

If you end up ringing that bell for an hour and it feels like no one is stepping up to donate, it may be because very few people carry cash!  Maybe those folks streaming into the store are not really in Scrooge-mode, but just fresh out of change and ones.

Which reminds us -- we can donate to the Salvation Army online too. The local chapter appreciates it.

I always feel a little guilty and selfish if it's all about me and my own family, and volunteering with the Salvation Army is one way to make that feeling go away.  Plus it gives us all the chance to get out and see how generous and awesome East Texas really is.

Get the kids involved, and this could become a great new holiday tradition.