10/29/11 — Salvation Army seeking help for holiday efforts

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Salvation Army seeking help for holiday efforts

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 29, 2011 11:28 PM

The Salvation Army is hoping to add another $20,000 to the $55,000 its annual holiday kettle campaign raised in 2010 for a total of $75,000 this year.

To do that, the charity will have to have hundreds of volunteers ringing its bells.

"Some people don't know that if we don't get enough volunteers, we have to hire people," said Lt. Kenny Igleheart, Salvation Army commander. "We pay them $80 a day. And some of those use this money to survive awhile, too. They need a job."

But that's also $80 less assistance the Salvation Army can use to help someone in need.

"It's a tradeoff," Igleheart said.

He noted that volunteers generally raise three times as much as a paid bellringer.

"That's because the volunteer wants to be there," he said.

The Salvation Army usually has to hire three people for every location it has. Igleheart said that's because a paid bellringer will start, then quit for whatever reason and has to be replaced.

"By the end of the year, we'll have gone though three people for one location," he said.

Bellringers will be found at about 10 locations this year throughout Wayne County -- in such locations as Wal-Mart in Goldsboro, Rosewood and Mount Olive, Sam's Club, Kmart, JCPenney and Carlie C's and possibly local Food Lions, Walgreens and Piggly Wiggly in Mount Olive.

Kettles are at each location Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. starting Nov. 18 through about 5 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Igleheart said volunteers could be civic groups, businesses, Scouts, Sunday school classes, football teams, baseball teams, ROTC groups, cheerleading groups or any other group who would like to help. Or it could be a family or an individual.

"To do the job here will take about 2,700 hours of volunteer time this year," Igleheart said. "If each volunteer takes an hour, that's 2,700 people this holiday season. Is it possible? Yes. Is it practical? Probably not."

Igleheart also said one of the goals of the Salvation Army is to get people more involved.

"The way to do that is by volunteering," he said. "It's just a great thing to do.

"And volunteers are part of a ministry. Take that group that mans a kettle for 10 hours. That's not just saving us $80, I take it that they're investing $80 to help someone who comes through our doors."

Igleheart said there are people at the Salvation Army's door every day.

"Some days we can help them," he said. "Other days, we have to tell them we can't help them because we don't have the funds. Nothing tears our hearts more than telling people we can't help them. The more we can raise, the more we can do -- that's what it boils down to."

And that help is that much more important during the holidays.

At Christmastime, the Salvation Army helps about 1,000 children with gifts and about 350 families with a holiday meals that they might not otherwise get.

Anyone wanting to volunteer to be a bellringer should call the Salvation Army Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 735-4811.