The Salvation Army kicked off its holiday drive in downtown Wichita Thursday, by lighting a larger-than-life sized red kettle.
"We're cautiously optimistic," said Director of Development Tim Brown. "It's a very challenging year for us. This is one of those years when the economy's down, and lots of people need assistance, and a lot of the people who have given us assistance in the past have actually come to us for help."
The charity hopes every person who passes a kettle will give this year. The Salvation Army wants to raise $1.7 million dollars this Christmas season, to carry it through the year. Last year, it met it's 1.4 million dollar goal, thanks to a large donation. Brown said the organization can't count on that every year.
"You know, whenever I say I work for the Salvation Army, people ask, 'Oh, so you shake the bells at Christmas?' No, it's a full year round thing," explained Todd Vopat. He works with the Salvation Army's Adolescent Program.