Lynchburg Salvation Army looking for bell ringers

Salvation Army asks for more volunteers for holidays (Image 1)
Salvation Army asks for more volunteers for holidays (Image 1) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - The Salvation Army of greater Lynchburg is facing a shortage of bell ringers this season.

The Red Kettle campaign kicked off last week and already leaders are concerned what could happen if they have to start paying people to stand with a bell hand.

Every day is a busy day at The Salvation Army of greater Lynchburg.

From the front desk to the kitchen, work continues from sun up to sundown, but finding volunteers to ring bells outside the building this season has proved to be quite a challenge.

"Everyone lives such busy lives and going in many different directions, so it's hard for people to commit to two hours or even a whole day," explained Captain Donald Dohmann.

Captain Dohmann says with so few volunteers they may have to look at paying people to ring the bell.

"If we don't have someone there we have to pay someone to be there and of course when we pay someone that's less monies that we can raise in the red kettle campaign to continue to support those in need year round."

Fewer volunteers means less money collected and potential program cuts.

The captain says it's a harsh reality since the Red Kettle campaign is the Salvation Army's largest fundraiser of the year.

"The Salvation Army is a good place, it really is, it's a good place.," explained Andre Ford, a shelter resident.

Ford and many others seeking shelter know firsthand the life changing love and support received inside the walls.

"They care about you, they really do. It's a place that really tries to help you out if you want to help yourself," Ford said.

"This is a place where you can pretty much be safe, and you can pretty much find a home, it's like a family here," explained shelter resident, Ryan Borden.

With the Red Kettle campaign the Salvation Army provides shelter, hot meals, and resources for men, women and children, and the need is evident each day.

"I just spoke this morning to a wife and a husband who both of them have lost their jobs and they're looking at probably coming to the Salvation Army shelter, because they have no other resources, they have no other family that can take them in," Captain Dohmann said.

The Salvation Army says continuing programs is important because it's seeing an increase in the number of full families and senior citizens who are homeless.

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