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Salvation Army issues call for bell-ringers

The Salvation Army’s 2020 Red Kettle campaign will officially begin on Saturday with the traditional ringing of the bells at Walmart and Piggly Wiggly 231.

Kim May, Pike County Salvation Army director, expressed appreciation to Walmart and Piggly Wiggly for allowing the bells be rung at their locations prior to Black Friday.

“The year 2020 has been difficult for everyone and it has been difficult for the Salvation Army, nationally and here at home,” May said. “In Troy, we were closed for six weeks but the bills kept coming in.  Monetary donations have been down and, for a time, sales at the Thrift Store were slow but have picked up.

“The Red Kettle campaign is our biggest fundraiser and we depend on it to provided services to our friends and neighbors in times of need.”

Because of COVID-19, May said the needs have been and are great in 2020. Her prayers are that the people of Pike County will be supportive of the Red Kettle campaign, as always.

“But right now, the 2020 Red Kettle campaign is an unknown,” May said. “We are having a hard time getting bell ringers. People are being cautious. But we are taking every precaution. The bell ringers are wearing masks and gloves and have hand sanitizer available. They are practicing social distancing and they don’t have to wear the apron if they don’t feel comfortable doing so. At Walmart, we are ringing 15 feet from the entrance.”

The shortage of change is presenting another hurdle for the Red Kettle Campaign. 

Because fewer people are paying with dollars and change, May said that could have a negative effect on the Red Kettle campaign. Dropping money in the Red Kettle is a traditional way of giving for shoppers during the holiday season.

“But, for those who prefer to donate to the Salvation Army using a debit or credit card, they may ‘swipe’ at each kettle station,” May said. “We are confident that people will continue to be generous in their giving. However, our real concern right now is that we won’t have enough bell ringers. That would mean fewer bells to ring and fewer opportunities for people to give.”

Bell ringers for the Pike County Salvation Army are greatly needed. Church groups, organizations, businesses, friends, families and individuals are encouraged to make ringing the bell at Christmas time a part of their Christmas giving.

To sign up as a bell ringer or for more information, call 808-1069, 808-1015, 672-4481 or 268-2553.