Salvation Army in need of Red Kettle bell ringers

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s the season of giving and you’ve probably noticed Red Kettles and bell ringers in front of some of your favorite stores.

While we associate the Salvation Army most with the holidays, the donations they’re collecting now fund the work they do in our community year-round.

10 News’ Rachel Lucas met with them to talk about where the money goes and how you can help.

It’s that iconic sound of the season the Red Kettles and volunteer bell ringers are out at your favorite shopping locations, hoping those who are able will give to the Salvation Army.

“Christmas and bell ringing are kind of synonymous I would say. You know it could be 80 degrees outside somewhere but you could hear the Salvation Army little red bells and you’re like, oh, oh it’s Christmas tree time,” said Tesa Price, Volunteer Coordinator for Salvation Army Roanoke.

But as Price said, work at the Salvation Army stretches far beyond the holidays.

“Especially for us, because we do have a domestic violence shelter,” she said, “The money we raise during the campaign goes to keep that program open. It also keeps the light on in the corp here, it sends our kids to camp, it has our senior program continuing to go, so we really rely on those funds to get us through the coming year.”

After the presents are opened and the tree is taken down, the need is still there.

That’s why the Red Kettle campaign is so important. It’s their largest fundraiser for the year.

Roanoke’s goal is $293,000, which is higher than last year’s goal of $125,000.

“It kind of fluctuates with the economy. We did see a large boost in gas prices going up, even something small like eggs, and the cost of living went up. So we kind of have to fluctuate with that meet the demands. Which we have been doing because we saw the increase last year so we were prepared for it,” Price said.

Money collected in the Red Kettles stays local.

Captain Cristina Trantham said the need this year is great, but the need to give back is even greater.

“It’s important for the community to be able to give back in some way because Christmas is about giving and sharing and loving one another,” she said.

And now the Salvation Army needs the community’s help. They’re searching for bell ringers looking to ring in the holiday season and help them reach their goal.

“The money that we raise we are able to put back into the community to help those families that are struggling. These are your neighbors. The kids that sit next to your kids at school. This could be you, it could be your parents,” Price said. “The money that we raise really goes back. We need that. We need it to go back. Because this is our community and we can’t do it without the rest of our community.”

Click here to find your local branch and donate or volunteer.

About the Authors:

Watch Rachel weekdays during 10 News at 5:30, 6 and 7 p.m.

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.