JOPLIN, Mo. — The iconic Red Kettle Campaign kicked off Thursday night in Downtown Joplin. The Salvation Army invited the community to celebrate its official start of the Christmas season with hot cocoa and chili.

Organizers honored last year’s bellringers and signed up volunteers to collect donations at 30 locations in Jasper and Newton County this holiday season.

This year, organizers hope to raise $337,000 dollars — and the Salvation Army has added a new way for donors to help meet that goal.

“We also have “tiptap” this year at our kettle stands. So if you don’t carry cash, you can just tap your credit card at the 5, 10, or 20 dollar increment,” said Capt. Debbie Middendorp, Salvation Army.

There’s still time to sign up to volunteer for the Red Kettle Campaign. You can do that here.