Salvation Army looking for volunteers to cut costs
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on December 1, 2013 1:50 AM
Salvation Army volunteer Jim Panton rings his bell as he looks for donations to the organization's kettle campaign outside Carlie C's grocery.
The Salvation Army spent $15,000 last year to pay people to ring bells for its kettle campaign. The organization is hoping more people volunteer this year so that more money can be used to help more people in this community.
The kettle campaign started last week with a few of the familiar red kettles dotting Wayne County. More will be added soon as the Salvation Army gets more volunteers to man them.
"We raised $87,000 last year and that's our goal this year," said Salvation Army commander Lt. Kenny Igleheart. "But we have five days less to do it this year with Thanksgiving coming a week later this year, when we normally start."
Kettles will be manned Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
Money raised is used for Christmas help and throughout the year for rent, utilities, emergency medication, groceries, clothing, shelter and emergency travel, Lt. Igleheart said.
"We give assistance for a short period of time," he said. "For example, if your car breaks down and you had to use your money to repair it because you need it to get to your job, now you don't have the money for something else."
The Salvation Army helped more than 1,300 households last year and will probably help that many, if not more, by the end of this year.
The more money the kettle campaign raises, the more people the Salvation Army can help.
"I have a pool of about 60 people that I can hire out of to ring the bell this year," Lt. Igleheart said. "We have to have a paid person wherever someone's not volunteering."
Volunteers are asked to take a five-hour shift, either from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or 3 to 8 p.m.
"A bell ringer must be someone who can talk to the wall," Lt. Igleheart said. "You've got to be able to talk to everyone who goes in and out of the door and be able to interact with people.
"I have seen people walk in to huge pillars because they were trying to keep their heads down and walk by the bell ringer. If you get those people to give, you're a good bell ringer."
That's what volunteer bell ringer Jim Panton hopes to be able to do. This is his second year of ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.
"I just want to give back to folks and help the Salvation Army," Panton, 63, said. "I'm ringing five hours a day and will ring between five and 10 days this year."
He has been manning the kettle outside Carlie C's and said people coming by have been very nice to him.
"It seems like everybody is wanting to give regardless of their ability to," he said. "It's very heartwarming. The Salvation Army and its mission attracts folks to give."
And although Panton gets a bit cold standing outside ringing the Salvation Army bell, he said it makes him feel good to do it.
"It's something I need to do," he said. "I need to do it to help the community."
Floyd Hill dropped his change into the kettle because he knows the Salvation Army helps people.
"And I always like to give to help others," he said.
Firefighter Gigi Eason gave her change because she likes to give back and she knew the Salvation Army is a good way to do just that.
"We're thankful for all the community gives," Lt. Igleheart said. "All those dollar bills add up at the end of day. And that's a changed life. And that's our goal."