CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Salvation Army kicked off its Red Kettle Campaign earlier this week, and while the pandemic is casting a huge shadow, it didn’t stop one Charlotte woman from volunteering.

“This year has been such a crazy year between the middle of the global pandemic that we’re in, the social injustice, the political climate," Sandra Esset said. "I just felt like people need to see love.”

Esset works as a nurse practitioner and decided she wanted to volunteer as a bell ringer for the very first time.

“I’m just like, what can I do to focus my energy on something that brings joy and hope and love, and so I’m just like giving back," she said.

Last year the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte supported between 35 to 40 kettles and raised more than $220,000.

This year the organization will see fewer kettles and volunteers because of the pandemic, but Esset said so far, people are still willing to give.

“I do like that even in the midst of all that’s going on, that people still have a heart to realize when there’s a need give," she said.

Esset hopes her presence inspires people to consider helping others this holiday season.

“Donate time, donate money, just think of others before yourself," she said.

The Salvation Army is still looking for bell ringers and volunteers to help with this year’s holiday season.

If you are interested in signing up for volunteer opportunities, click here.