Bell Ringers needed for ‘Red Kettle’ campaign

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Pike County Salvation Army is at work every day in the local community.

In the month of September alone, the Salvation Army Service Center assisted 24 cases that included families and individuals. That number will greatly increase as winter and the holiday season approach.

Kim May, executive director of the Pike County Salvation Army, said the need for medical and energy assistance increases along with food and clothing needs during the winter months.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign helps to meet those needs and others throughout the year.

The Red Kettle campaign was the main topic of discussion at the Tuesday meeting of the local Salvation Army Advisory Board.

The annual Red Kettle fundraising campaign officially begins on Black Friday or the day after Thanksgiving and concludes on December 24. The ringing of the Salvation Army’s bells is a holiday tradition and one that many look forward to as bell ringers.

“People often tell us that being a bell ringer is a part of the joy of Christmas for them,” May said. “It means a lot to me. Seeing the generosity of the people of Pike County is uplifting.”

The Pike County Salvation Army will ring bells daily at Walmart, Walgreen’s, Food World and Piggly Wiggly 231 and Piggly Wiggly Brundidge from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. or 7 p.m.

“We appreciate all bell ringers and it takes a lot of them to fill the schedule,” said Donna McLaney, advisory board member. “We like for bell ringers to commit to two-hour blocks and we depend on a lot of individuals to fill our schedule. We also invite businesses, industries, churches and organizations to commit to a block of time, say a morning or afternoon or, ideally, a whole day to ring.”

McLaney said employers will often allow employees to leave work and ring the bell for the Salvation Army during their business’ block of time.

“For us, scheduling can be a problem when individuals are unable to fill their slots for whatever reason,” she said. “Then, we either have to find someone to take their places or not have bell ringers then and there.

“When businesses or groups take a large block of time, we almost never have a Red Kettle without a bell ringer.”

The Pike County Salvation Army is now scheduling bell ringers for the 2016 Red Kettle Campaign. Individuals, businesses and groups are encouraged to participate and support the needs of many individuals here in Pike County.

To volunteer as a Red Kettle Bell Ringer, call McLaney at 334-268-2553, May at 672-4481 or the Salvation Army Service Center at 808-1069.