Springfield Salvation Army in ‘desperate’ need of bell ringers

Steven Hunter, a Springfield Salvation Army bell ringer, dances outside of Kroger to encourage residents to donate this holiday season.

Credit: Submitted Photo

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Steven Hunter, a Springfield Salvation Army bell ringer, dances outside of Kroger to encourage residents to donate this holiday season.

Credit: Submitted Photo

The Springfield Salvation Army is in “desperate” need of paid and volunteer bell ringers for the holiday season during their Red Kettle Campaign, an official with the organization said.

Ryan Ray, the development director of the Springfield Salvation Army said that they are hoping to have about 20 bell ringers on rotation, but at this point they do not have half of that.

“While they make sweet music with a bell, it’s certainly for a greater purpose,” Ray said. “Our kettles are a vehicle to bring aid and hope to those who need it most.”

The Red Kettle Campaign has been a part of Springfield for 135 years, Ray said. The money raised from the campaign will go to several of Springfield Salvation Army’s programs including utility assistance, rent assistance, mortgage assistance and food assistance.

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“If we don’t find enough (bell ringers), that means there are some kettles we won’t be able to have out - that’s massive," Ray said.

The Springfield Salvation Army is already projecting that the Red Kettle Campaign will be about 50 percent of what it was last year because there are fewer stores stores for ringers to stand, less foot traffic near the kettles due to the coronavirus pandemic and less cash in people’s hands, , Ray said. He said that means they are expecting a $50,000 dip.

Bell ringers are essential in raising funds for “those falling through the cracks," Ray added.

The job description of a bell ringer is minimal, Ray said. They are expected to be friendly, outgoing, well-groomed, reliable and willing to stand for four-hour shifts between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. starting Nov. 27 through Dec. 24. Paid bell ringers start at a $9 hourly wage, Ray said.

Bell ringers will stand at the Springfield Walmart, Kroger and Rural King locations.

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The Springfield Salvation Army is also encouraging families, businesses, clubs, teams, or individuals to volunteer to be a bell ringer, Ray said.

“The more volunteers we have, the more money we can use to help people,” he said.

Bell ringers will be required to wear masks, stay six feet from the kettle and clean and sanitize the kettle, Ray said. He added that individuals will be able to donate to the kettle by using touchless pay - scanning a QR code on the sign.

“A Salvation Army bell ringer is instrumental in helping bring hope to countless lives here in Clark County,” Ray said. “It’s more than just a job. It’s important and rewarding work for a great cause.”

For more information or to become a bell ringer call 937-322-3434.

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