WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.-- The Salvation Army of Greater Winston-Salem’s annual red kettle campaign is off to a rocky start.

Thieves stole several empty kettles, aprons, and bells from six different locations in the city.

The nonprofit raises 60 percent of its money for the year during the Christmas season.

"People who come in distress, they need help,” said Major Jim Rickard Area Commander. “They need help with food shelter clothing, prescription medicine. Those types of things."

Some donors said they're shocked.

“It’s kind of disheartening knowing that the Salvation Army is something that I always look forward to giving,” Heather Koran said. “Especially when I go in and out of stores and I hear the bell ringing. It kind of just brings that Christmas spirit.”

The organization’s goal is to raise more than $200,000 this year during the Red Kettle Campaign. Ringers will collect donations until Christmas eve.