Merritt said efforts locally will really pick up next month.
"After Thanksgiving, we'll have nearly 200 sites across Milwaukee," he said.
This year's fundraising goal is $3.8 million. Merritt said that's on par with last year's goal.
He said all the money collected stays in Milwaukee County, and more than 80 percent of every dollar helps support individuals in need.
"This money is feeding kids in the summertime when they're not in school. It's put towards providing people with coats, with back to school supplies, or providing lodging for a family at our emergency lodge," Merritt said.
The Red Kettle Campaign first began in the U.S. in 1891.
The Salvation Army is always in need of bell ringers. For more on how to volunteer, click here.