volunteers, Salvation Army, Christmas, Children, Families, Richmond
by Jeff Baldwin
The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign in Central Virginia is set to kick off on Friday, November 12 and volunteer bell ringers are desperately needed.
“This year, more than ever, volunteers will be critical to the overall success of our Red Kettle Campaign,” said Jeff Baldwin, Public Relations Director for The Salvation Army. “On any given day, over half of our sites are silent with no-one there to ring the bell. Every penny, nickel, dime and dollar bill adds up, but without volunteer manpower, we can’t possibly reach our goal. More than any other fund raising drive, this campaign is crucial to the financial stability of The Salvation Army. The money raised through the Red Kettles allows us to meet the on-going and ever-increasing demand for our services.”
This year’s campaign will run November 12 through Christmas Eve, and raises funds to provide assistance to thousands of children and families and support Salvation Army programs and services throughout the year.
Volunteer slots are available every day Monday through Saturday, with the exception of Thanksgiving Day and opportunities exist in both the Richmond metro and Tri-Cities areas.
Currently, more than 75 locations are available, however, on most days a large percentage of these sites and shifts are vacant.
“It’s unfortunate, but every year we have more kettle sites than we do bell ringers,” said Captain David Worthy, Commander of The Salvation Army in Central Virginia. “This year, more than any other, we’re pleading with the community to step forth and partner with us. The red kettle is iconic and it represents hope, happiness and healing to the least, the lonely and the lost.”
Individuals and groups that are interested in volunteering during the campaign can register one of two ways; either by visiting our website; www.registertoring.com/centralvirginia, or by calling Captain Natalie Sayre at (804) 433-1684.
“Volunteering as a bell ringer is easy and effective,” said Worthy. “Simply show up at the appointed location on the confirmed date and time and someone with The Salvation Army will deliver your kettle and bell. Once your shift is over, we’ll return to pick the kettle up. This year, our objective is to cover as many of the available kettle sites as possible. To do that, we’re asking individuals, civic organizations, corporate groups, churches, schools and sports teams to spend a few hours helping us raise the crucial financial support that will allow us to sustain our services to those in need,” said Worthy.
The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign began in 1891 by Captain Joseph McFee of San Francisco as a way to raise funds to provide Christmas dinner to the area’s poor. He remembered collection pots from his days as a sailor and quickly secured permission to place pots throughout the city, thus launching a tradition that spread throughout the United States and around the world. Today, it is the single-largest fundraiser of the year for the Army. In 2009, the Red Kettle Campaign raised $139 million in the United States.