BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) The kettle kickoff is usually a big event at the Ohio Valley Mall, complete with crowds of onlookers and live music from area high school bands and choruses.
This year, the kickoff will be “streamlined,” according to Major Louis Patrick.
There will be no band or choir, in avoidance of airborne droplets, and to avoid exposing the young musicians to a mass gathering.
“It will be scaled down, with a short prayer and social distancing, Patrick noted.
The Salvation Army’s gift-wrapping station and the angel tree sign-up station will repeatedly sanitize the pens and utensils.
He said many Belmont County businesses that traditionally have allowed the bell-ringers to be at their entrances are inviting them again.
He says all the kettle bell ringers will wear masks and will use hand sanitizer.
Applications for Christmas assistance will be accepted at the Bellaire Salvation Army November 2 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and November 5 and 6 from 1-3 p.m.
But everyone must undergo temperature checks, observe social distancing and wear a mask.
Anyone who registers a fever will have to leave and perhaps apply by phone.
And when a family’s food and toys are ready, they’ll be called with a day and time to come pick them up.
Patrick says the goal is to make sure everyone is served and kept safe at the same time.