The Salvation Army of Springfield is trying a new tactic they hope will lead to more donations collected through the holidays to pay for the agency’s services.
For the first time this year, the agency will host a hiring event Thursday to find bell ringers to collect donations at various locations throughout Clark County over the next several weeks, said Bob Watson, a corps officer with the Salvation Army of Springfield. The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at the agency’s office, 15 S. Plum St. in Springfield.
The agency is also looking for volunteers who might be interested.
“This is absolutely essential for us,” Watson said. “This is one of our main fundraising seasons throughout the year. It’s critical in terms of our ministries and making sure there are thousands of children that will find toys under the tree on Christmas morning.”
The agency is looking for reliable workers to work four- or eight-hour shifts throughout the season. The Salvation Army provides numerous services, including housing and utility assistance, a Christmas dinner, a community center, and summer and day camps.
“We’re literally helping to prevent homelessness in all sorts of ways, in terms of assistance with rent and utilities and we have an ongoing food ministry throughout the year,” Watson said. “We have all sorts of programming for young people and we like to think we’re having an impact on this community in terms pf prevention of drug use and all sorts of other destructive habits.”
The agency has traditionally relied on volunteers, he said. But they’re often short-staffed, so he said he’s hoping the hiring event will make the position more attractive. Many of those who have worked at kettle locations in the past have been in need of assistance themselves at some point, Watson said. The job will generally pay $8.25 per hour.
“While it might not be as much as we would like to be able to pay people, we recognize that income for them can make a real difference,” Watson said. “We know many people that will be helping us in this way do struggle. Many are employed but may be underemployed.”
There are at least 13 openings and 15 locations where workers will be collecting donations. The goal is to have workers in place by the end of October for the season from Nov. 6 to Dec. 23.