NEWBURYPORT — The arrival of the Salvation Army’s red kettles in Market Square — and everywhere around Greater Newburyport — is a sure sign the Christmas season is here.

“With a goal of $30,000, it’s our biggest fund-raiser of the year,” said Jessica Berkhoudt, half of the Salvation Army’s new officer team at the regional facility on Water Street.

This year’s plan is to have all eight kettle stands and eight smaller, countertop kettles in place by Nov. 25 and then returned to hibernation by Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

The $30,000 goal represents 72% of the local Salvation Army’s operational budget.

That money will help buy gifts for local children, food for families in need and meals for the hungry.

Members of several local service clubs will be on bell-ringing duty at the kettles in the coming weeks, and anyone can be a volunteer bell-ringer for an hour or three, simply by calling the Salvation Army at 978-992-6587.

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