CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — J.F. Allen Company is challenging service organizations across north central West Virginia to help the Clarksburg Corps Salvation Army raise money for its annual Red Kettle Campaign.

The company will be awarding $1,000 to whichever organization, or individual(s), raises the most money during this holiday season.

This challenge was issued by Greg Hadjis, J.F. Allen Company’s President and Vice Chair of the Clarksburg Salvation Army Advisory Board.

Eric Roberts, the Corps Officer for the Clarksburg Salvation Army, said that Hadjis came up with this competition to bring more attention to the Red Kettle Campaign. Officials also hope the challenge will help the organization get new volunteers and meet its $80,000 goal for the year, which helps with things like buying gifts for Angel Tree Children that don’t get sponsored and food for families in need.

This competition spans across all eight counties that the Clarksburg Corps Salvation Army serves: Barbour, Braxton, Doddridge, Gilmer, Harrison, Lewis, Randolph, and Upshur. Any organization that falls in one of these counties can participate, as well as individuals.

“We centered it around the groups because they’ll be the most likely to make more money ’cause they can spread around,” said Roberts. He added that participants don’t have to limit themselves to just one location, and that they can ring at as many red kettle locations across the eight counties as they want to.

“You can get your group and say ‘okay, let’s do all the kettles for one day,’ and see how much you can make. And the one who makes the most is the one that can get that $1,000 and use it for their group, or they can give it back to Salvation Army—we’d love that,” Roberts added.

Roberts said that the campaign first started as a shrimp pot in San Francisco, back in 1891. He said that a man developed this idea to feed longshoremen in the area who had been furloughed around that time. “He wanted to have a big meal for them and just give them a little hope as they were laid off and they were still depressed.”

From there, the Kettle Campaign spread across the nation and to right here in north central West Virginia.

“This Red Kettle Campaign is something that’s been going on for a long time, and it really has been something special,” Roberts said.

Anyone who’s interested in volunteering this winter season can do so by reaching out to the Clarksburg Corps Salvation Army directly.

“I mean, if just everybody in this area—the eight-county area were to give just one dollar, we’d easily have 80,000 no problem,” Roberts added.

The competition will officially end on Dec. 23, and the winner will be awarded the $1,000 check in January 2024. It’s also important to note that the Salvation Army does not ring bells on Sundays.