Nineteen-year-old James King was the first to drop a donation in the red kettle Monday afternoon in nearly 30 minutes.
"I want to donate because I feel like it is right to help kids that don't have anything. It's the right thing to do,” said King. “People should have what we have in life, so share what we have with others."
Salvation Army officials say donations are off to a slow start this year.
"Everyone's aware of how the economy is,” said Commanding Officer Caleb Prieto. “So, it's really hard right now to come up with the funds."
They are hoping to raise the $175,000 donated last year, which will help provide for families in Bay and seven surrounding counties.
"Over 1,000 families, one way or another, we're going to help with toys or food or both," said Prieto.
The Red Kettle Campaign runs right up until Christmas Eve so those interested still have time to help.