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Salvation Army seeks bell ringers for holiday season

October 30, 2016 GMT

In about a week, The Salvation Army Council Bluffs Corps will launch its trademark Red Kettle Drive.

The drive, part of the organization’s annual Christmas campaign, will run from Nov. 7 to Jan. 9, according to spokesman John Molina. It usually accepts mail and internet donations for the campaign through Jan. 31.

“We are looking for more volunteers and bell ringers, as well,” he said. “We need quite a few this year.”

Last year, the corps had 21 sites for red kettles around Council Bluffs but did not have enough bell ringers to keep all of them staffed throughout store hours.

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The corps, based at 715 N. 16th St. on the Charles E. Lakin Human Services Campus, is currently working to line up volunteers for the upcoming season and, as usual, will hire a certain number of bell ringers to try to fill out the schedule.

Many volunteers return each year to ring bells because they find the work rewarding, Molina said. “They do, because they are helping the community – so they are making a big difference with what they’re doing, even if it’s as simple as ringing a bell.”

The goal for last year’s campaign was $205,000. This year’s goal has not been announced yet.

The money from the campaign usually pays for 42 percent to 45 percent of the Corps’ budget.

“To help the community, we need these funds,” Molina said.

The Council Bluffs Corps holds worship services, Sunday school, children’s and youth activities and small group sessions and provides food, housing, utility and transportation assistance.

It also holds seasonal programs such as its summer fan program and its adopt-a-family, food voucher and toy shop programs during the holiday season.

Local Salvation Army volunteers were mobilized in response to a grain elevator explosion in 1984, the 1988 tornado, the flood of 1993 and the flood of 2011, among other disasters.

Those interested in a temporary bell-ringing job should apply in person and bring their Social security card and valid picture ID. Volunteers may call (712) 328-2088 or sign up online at registertoring.com.

Donations can be made online at salarmywestern.org/councilbluffs or mailed to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 433, Council Bluffs, IA 51501. All donations made to Council Bluffs are used locally.

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