By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — The shiny red kettles are gleaming and the bells are calling out for help.
The Salvation Army has workers and volunteers out in force around the region, ringing bells and collecting money to support the organization’s many missions and projects in the region.
In Southern New Hampshire, people staffing kettles are already ringing in the holidays and more will be out as the season moves forward.
Derry Salvation Army Lt. Kiley Williams said more volunteers are always needed to support the kettle drive, including drivers and other volunteers to staff the kettle locations.
Derry town officials and organizations will take turns ringing bells, including fire personnel and local Boy Scouts.
More bodies are always welcome.
“We can always use more help,” Williams said.
In addition to raising money from the kettles, the Army hosts its Angel Tree program every year, placing special holiday trees and angel tags in locations around town including stores, restaurants and Derry Public Library.
The library’s response was swift and successful. Fifty tags already were taken from the tree and more are coming soon.
Susan Brown, head of the reference department, said the library staff is very generous during the holidays and regularly hosts the Angel Tree. Staff also “adopts” its own family and provides gifts.
“It’s a nice thing to do every year,” she said.
Williams said a total of 200 children make up this year’s Angel Tree program. Wish lists and gift ideas are listed on each tag for what they would like for Christmas.
“If you see a tag, please take it,” she said.
The Salvation Army also is collecting food to fill holiday food baskets.
Williams said this year’s need for help is still great. Applications are still being accepted at the Salvation Army office at 18 Folsom Road.
For information, call the Salvation Army in Derry at 434-7790.