Salvation Army Looking For Red Kettle Volunteers
The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Drive has begun, and the organization is once again looking for volunteers.
Volunteer bell ringers are something the Salvation Army is always in need of, especially during the holiday months. Statewide, the funds raised by the Red Kettle campaign go toward helping families in need during the holiday season such as food and clothing. Locally, all funds raised go toward the social service programs of the Jamestown Salvation Army branch, including places such as the food pantry.
Anyone is allowed to sign up to volunteer to be a bell ringer outside a local business.
“Bell ringers are always needed,” Major Kimberly Merchant said. “You can sign up for an hour time slot or make it an all day event. Any group or school club, or anyone at all interested in giving back to the community without having to give up anything but your time should volunteer.”
Merchant said giving back to the local community in ways like the Red Kettle drive is very important, especially since even in Jamestown bad things happen to people.
“We like to think that no bad things happen in Jamestown,” Merchant said. “But, you never know what someone’s situation is. It could be your next door neighbor. There are two income households where someone is suddenly not able to work because of a medical reason or someone’s car breaks down and they need it to get to work and can’t afford another. Especially during the pandemic people have suffered in ways that we don’t always think about.”
Additionally, Merchant said fundraisers like the Red Kettle drive are important to help meet the needs of the entire community and so people have somewhere to go when they need help.
“People can come to us without having to beg for help from their family and friends,” Merchant said. “We focus on being good stewards and meeting most of the needs in the community as possible. The only thing we need to worry about is the paperwork. Everything is free if the person meets the needs.”
Merchant said that especially with the current economy and inflation, a lot of people in the area are in need at the moment.
“The entire area is in poverty,” Merchant said. “Especially with inflation we see a lot of senior citizens recently, because they cannot afford to buy some things.”
The Jamestown Red Kettle Drive officially began on Nov. 16 at Tops and Birgodias. It continues at the Walmart in the mall on Nov. 18.
Even if someone cannot volunteer, Merchant asked that they still do what they can to help.
“Anything you can do to help meet our goal is appreciated,” Merchant said. “It takes a village to raise a child and a community to meet the needs. Even if you are not able to give at a spot in the community, you can send a check to our address and just put Kettle in the designated area on the check.”
The Salvation Army is located at 83 S. Main St. in Jamestown.
If interested in volunteering to be a bell ringer visit easternusa.salvationarmy.org, or call 716-664-4108.