Salvation Army recruiting bell-ringers for the holiday season

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CSRA (WJBF) – The 2021 labor shortage is affecting the Red Kettle Campaign, and The Salvation Army of Augusta needs community volunteers to help.

The Salvation Army of Augusta, which manages this area’s largest shelter and soup kitchen, is launching their iconic Red Kettles this month and has a shortage of people to help ring the bell.

The Red Kettle Campaign supports homeless services in the Greater Augusta Area and is The Salvation Army’s largest fundraiser.

All donations from this campaign stay local to help meet the increasing needs in Augusta. Donations support their services to those who are homeless and those at-risk of homelessness.

“We are grateful for our generous partners who support us every year and give us a spot to ring the bell,” said Captain Jonathan Raymer, the Augusta Area Commander. “Every single volunteer ringing the bell for us is making a tremendous impact on countless lives. Ringing the bell for four hours provides enough funding to shelter a person for 19 nights. The help a single volunteer can provide is truly amazing.”

The Salvation Army needs volunteers but has, in the past, relied on paid individuals to fill all the shifts.

The iconic Red Kettles are not immune to the labor shortages throughout Augusta, and The Salvation Army is asking the community to fill the gap.

“If we have to cancel ringing locations, that means our services, which are needed more than ever, will receive less funding this year,” said Raymer. “I pray that families, businesses, Sunday school classes, and any other groups will step forward and spread some Christmas cheer. They will be helping many people on what is usually the worst day of their lives.”

The Salvation Army says: “There is an urgent need right now for volunteers.” With over 30 locations and two or more shifts per day, it is critical to the success of their campaign to fill vacant shifts quickly.

They are asking volunteers to sign up for either a four or eight-hour shift. A single person or a small group can staff a shift.

Volunteers will receive training, be assigned a shift, and The Salvation Army staff will support them every step of the way.

For more information about volunteering for the Red Kettle campaign, contact Nanette Hayes at 706-434-3185 or email at Nanette.Hayes@uss.salvationarmy.org

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