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Salvation Army seeking more volunteers to bell ring this holiday season

According to the organization, for every 2 hours a volunteer stands at a red kettle, 104 meals can be provided to those in need.

CLEVELAND — *Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report. 

The Salvation Army is asking the Northeastern Ohio community for their help as they are being impacted by a bell ringer shortage.

“Two weeks into our annual campaign, we are 34% down in comparison to last year. We are grateful for those who contribute and ask Clevelanders to rally their support around our red kettles. The funds raised during this time are critical to providing year-round support to our neighbors when they need it most.” stated Major Thomas Applin, Divisional Secretary of Greater Cleveland Area Services.

This year’s Annual Red Kettle Campaign is themed “Hope Marches On.” The campaign aims to raise $650,000 to help support food pantries, basic needs and hot meals at five area corps community centers in the Greater Cleveland area. 

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“A real challenge this year is getting bell ringers.  Many folks are still worried about the COVID variants, and general staffing shortages are impacting the number of kettles we can staff.” continued Applin. 

Volunteers are a vital piece to The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign. For every 2 hours that a volunteer stands at a red kettle, The Salvation Army can provide 104 meals to local neighbors in need.

“The Salvation Army is always in need of volunteers to come out to their favorite retail location to ring the bell for a few hours. There is a quick and easy way to sign up for volunteering.  Visit SAVolunteer.org to select a date, time, and location that works in your schedule,” explained Major Applin.

Since 1981, the Salvation Army Red Kettles have been used, making it one of the longest-lasting and recognizable campaigns. Across the Greater Cleveland area, the red kettles are at Walmart, Giant Eagle, Discount Drug Mart, Dave’s Markets and many more. 

Individuals who do not want to go out in public also have the option to donate from their own homes at SalvationArmyCleveland.org. 

This year Salvation Army is expanding contactless payment allowing in-person donors to donate by using Apple Pay/Google Pay at the stands. There are also options for donors to use PayPal or Venmo by scanning the QR codes.

 “Expanding the contactless giving options at the kettles is a blessing. With less cash being carried, adding Venmo and PayPal will help us engage more individuals this holiday season,” said Major Applin.”

With the shortage of workers down, the Salvation Army asks individuals to volunteer to stand at a kettle to help those in need this holiday season. Those interested in assisting the Salvation Army in Greater Cleveland can visit SAVolunteer.org or call 216-861-8185. 

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*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report. 

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