BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Every holiday season, the Salvation Army turns to the community for donations to the Red Kettle campaign to help fund its programs year round. Now, the group is asking for volunteers to give their time, too.
More bell ringers are needed to cover all of the shifts at the Red Kettle sites around our area.
By the end of this week, the Salvation Army will have Red Kettles at 75 different locations in Western New York, and volunteers are needed to cover two-hour blocks of bell ringing at each one between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday until Christmas Day.
Salvation Army officials say the amount raised during each two hour shift is enough to feed a family of four for a week. “If you add up ten hours each day that you’re ringing at 75 locations, and you go over the six to seven weeks that we ring, we’re helping out a lot of families in Western New York,” said Demi Walsh, the volunteer and Red Kettle coordinator for the local Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army relies on volunteers to make the annual campaign a success. “Our goal is to do whatever we can to provide food, clothing, shelter to all the families in Western New York that need it,” Walsh said, adding that 83 cents of every dollar collected through the Red Kettle campaign goes directly back into the community through Salvation Army programs.
Some volunteers have been helping out for years, and they’ll tell you, the work is very rewarding. “I just enjoy it. We all need to be a part of something,” said one bell ringer, Tracey White. “So if I can give back to all the blessings that I have and I can share some of that with someone else, then that’s just awesome. That’s great.”
White says there’s no special skill set required to be a good bell ringer, just dedication to the cause. “It’s not a skill, but it’s something that you have to want to do to just help others out,” she explained. “When you know what the bell ringing does, then that inspires you, if you’re a person who likes helping other people out.”
If you’d like to volunteer to ring a bell at Red Kettle location, you can sign up online at http://www.registertoring.com/
You can also email Demaree.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-6220 for more information about the opportunities.