Although bell ringers were out in full force in November and December, the Salvation Army came up about $4,000 short for its 2018 Red Kettle Campaign.
“Our goal was $105,000,” said Capt. Phillip Stokes, Salvation Army commander. “We raised only about $101,000.”
“But overall, the campaign went well, I think.”
Phillip Stokes said the Salvation Army picked up 10 kettle sponsors, as compared to eight for the 2017 kettle campaign.
Sponsors are businesses or groups that donate $1,000 to sponsor kettles manned by paid bell ringers. That goes toward the total payroll for the Red Kettle Campaign, which allows the $1,000 that would have been paid to the bell ringers to go toward other things.
“We would have loved to have had 100 percent volunteers, but it’s hard to find volunteers,” Phillip Stokes said. “Bell ringers man the kettles 10 hours day, six days a week for about six weeks.”
The Salvation Army requires every paid bell ringer to complete a resume so they can gain experience with creating a resume.
“It’s sad that we have to hire people, but the people we hire have difficulty getting employment because of different reasons,” said Capt. Sherrie Stokes with the Salvation Army. “Now, (people can have) this job on (a) resume and the Salvation Army name carries a little bit of weight.”
The position has helped several bell ringers while searching for other jobs.
“This year, three paid bell ringers got interviews because of working with the kettle campaign,” Phillip Stokes said. “They rang the bell in front of Walmart and the manager come out and checked on them and offered them interviews.”
Sherrie Stokes said the kettle campaign promotes partnerships within the community.
“We had a car salesman ring the bell this year,” she said. “He was taking time from his day to ring the bell to give back to the community and also to get his face out in the community. That was a great partnership.”
Phillip Stokes said the number of red kettle campaign volunteers was down this year, but a lot of people who can’t give of their time gave financially.
The money raised by the kettle campaign helps Wayne County’s needy throughout the year with food, rent, utilities, life sustaining medicines and bus passes for doctor’s appointments.
Anyone wanting to make a donation to the Salvation Army can call the office at 919-735-4811.