The official kickoff of the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign comes tomorrow at halftime of the Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day Game, but the Lufkin 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.

Lufkin Salvation Army members were at City Hall last Friday to launch the Red Kettle campaign, and we'll be seeing those red buckets outside our favorite stores through Christmas.

Instead of walking by as quickly as possible without making eye contact, maybe it's time we all signed up to volunteer. Over the past few years, I've seen kids out there ringing bells with their parents, and I think that's such an awesome idea. Before they spoiled with games and electronics, let them experience giving back. It keeps everything in perspective.

Just contact our local Salvation Army chapter to get involved.

The Salvation Army of Lufkin
936-634-5132
412 S. Third Street
Lufkin, TX 75901

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.