Cathy Monroe, service center director for the Salvation Army in Cherokee County, reached out to students this year in an effort to attract more volunteers.
A group from Etowah High School last year volunteered for a day and had the highest collection amount for the whole season in Cherokee.
"I thought I would open it up to all the schools," she said, noting more volunteers are still needed for this year's drive, which runs through Christmas Eve.
The Cherokee High School Alpha and Gamma service clubs accepted the invitation this year.
Kody Smith, 17, son of Alicia and Ricky Smith of Canton, said he will be ringing "as much as I can" this holiday season.
"It is a chance to help out in the community. It is a good fundraiser for the Salvation Army," he said. "We're just here to bring in the money. We will be singing, playing instruments, anything we can do."
Ellen Skelton, 17, daughter of Joe and Patti Skelton of Canton, is looking forward to meeting and hearing from people in the community she normally would not come across.
"We have a lot of spirit," she said about the clubs, noting she hopes that shoppers seeing happy faces will translate into more money in the kettle. "We will be singing and playing instruments and being loud and getting people's attention."
She said ringing bells for the Salvation Army will give the clubs a bigger stage to work from, as the clubs mostly do activities in school.
"We want everyone to know that we are out there to help everybody," she said.
The kettle drive, which began in 1891, is the Salvation Army's main source of revenue.
Money raised through the kettle drive is put back into Cherokee to help local residents in need.
A goal of $75,000 has been set for the campaign this year in the county, but Ms. Monroe said she thinks the agency can reach closer to $100,000.
The organization traditionally begins ringing bells the day after Thanksgiving, but got a head start this year by appearing at local Kroger stores last week.
Bell ringers will be stationed at all Kroger supermarkets and Walmart Supercenters in the county and at Belk department store at Canton's RiverStone Plaza.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays at Krogers, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays at Walmarts and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays at Belk.
For information on volunteering, call (770) 720-4316.