By Robin Culverwell

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Salvation Army bell ringers collect spare change during the holidays to help those in need, and that money is a portion of what’s raised to help people all year.

“Throughout the year, we do have various mailings that we send out,” says Major Paul Cain, administrator for the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center in Camden.

He says about half their annual funds are raised in November and December, much of the money coming into those iconic red kettles.

The money, he says, buys new coats for the needy, summer camp for veterans and their children, and helps children of imprisoned mothers visit once a month.

Another perennial favorite? The holiday shop.

“We don’t want Salvation Army toys going to the kids, we want their parents to give them toys so we give them to the parents, the parents wrap them up and give them to them on Christmas.”

Cain says they did a study a few years ago and found a child’s first donation to charity is most often money dropped into a Salvation Army red kettle.

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