LONDON, ONT. -- It is a yuletide sight and tradition year after year with the Salvation Army’s Christmas kettles located at different malls and grocery stores. But this year organizers say it’s taking a different tone because of the pandemic.

“It is going to be a bit different than previous years in that we are having to implement some other safety protocols, we want to keep our volunteers safe, we want to keep our donors safe,” said Major Rob Kerr with the Salvation Army.

“We want to be in the malls we want to be in the shopping centres, but we want to make sure donors and volunteers feel safe.”

This year’s campaign kicks off Nov. 19 and already they are in desperate need of volunteers.

“We're sitting right now at about 30 per cent of the volunteers that we need to fill our kettle shifts, “ said Kerr. “You can appreciate a lot of our volunteers in previous years might have been elderly or retired and these might be folks who aren't able to stand out in public these days.”

With about 50 Christmas kettles scattered throughout the community, they are hoping to raise more than $550,000 to help those in need.

“This is a tough year there's a lot of people who are struggling, the pandemic has impacted a lot of people so we need to raise this money,” Kerr said.