SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — A local woman is hoping to bring the spirit of Christmas to those in need this year.
Starting Wednesday, for 24 hours, Salvation Army Captain Emily Jones plans to ring the bell for Red Kettle donations non-stop to raise money for families.
Emily has been a kettle-ringer countless times before, but this year, she is trying something new.
She'll spend next 24 hours straight outside the Walmart in Poway.
"Standing at a kettle for eight hours isn't noteworthy, but for 24 hours might get people's attention,” said Emily.
Fortunately, she has some help.
Three of her four sons will take turns ringing so Emily can rest on the air mattress set up inside her mini-van.
"I've stayed up 24 hours to watch TV, I can stay up 24 hours to do this,” said one of her sons.
Other essentials include enough refreshments to make it around the clock.
So what drives them to keep on ringing?
For starters, Emily's husband and her boys’ father Ben.
"He's been diagnosed with lymphoma and he's not doing well this holiday season,” said Emily.
Ben, who helps Emily and their sons run the Salvation Army's Escondido Corp., is usually the one manning the kettle.
His absence, combined with the fact donations are down this year, is really what this is all about.
"We're rallying around him and the community to provide what the community needs,” said Emily.
Those needs are in the thousands.
The Escondido Salvation Army alone provides 9,000 meals a month - just a small example of all they do.
"It is important for people to give because it allows us to give and helps us sustain our programs throughout the year,” said Emily.
Click here if you would like to donate.