Bells will be, and are, ringing on local street corners and at area department stores - just give a listen.
Salvation Army units will begin their kettle campaigns in the coming weeks, and they are all counting on our contributions.
Every dollar bill or coin dropped into a Salvation Army kettle helps to provide food, warm-weather clothing and toys to those less fortunate, and aids the area's needy with home heating and prescription bills.
But funding from kettle campaigns is limited without the donation of time and money from the public.
Please keep in mind that many of our area Salvation Army units will be in need of volunteers this year to staff the kettles.
Traditionally, many local organization and service group members and church congregations volunteer their time to ring the bells and oversee kettle donations during the holiday season. But membership in those organizations and service groups is declining, meaning fewer volunteers are available for the holiday kettle drives each year.
Another setback for local units involves some store officials who are required to keep Salvation Army kettles and volunteers outside the business.
That, combined with the fact that many of the Salvation Army bell ringers are older and cannot weather the chilly conditions, equals another drop in the number of volunteers.
Fewer volunteers at fewer kettles adds up to fewer dollars to help support the needy.
For our local Salvation Army units, the holiday kettle drive is the biggest fundraiser of the year, and it's important to note the money collected here stays here. Keep that in mind as this year's Salvation Army and the holiday shopping season gets under way.
We're asking area residents to drop some extra change into local kettles in the coming days or volunteer to spend a few hours ringing a bell.
The local Salvation Armies will be appreciative, but knowing you're helping provide a better holiday season and a warmer winter to someone in need trumps everything else.