COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH)— The shortened Christmas season and shortage of red kettle bell-ringers is taking a toll on the Salvation Army in Central Ohio.
“This year the Kettle Campaign is far behind,” said Major Debra Ashcraft. “Further behind than I’ve ever seen it. We are just at about $171,000 which is more than $100,000 behind last year, same time.”
The bell-ringers are needed to help cover the more than 80 locations around Central Ohio to boost their annual Kettle Campaign.
“We’re only able to have this year about 50-60% of our kettle locations out, because we’re missing volunteer bell ringers,” Ashcraft added.
Eric Lutz has been a Kettle Campaign bell ringer for 7 years.
“It’s very rewarding,” said Lutz. “I come in contact with a lot of homeless people, and so I know the good work that the Salvation Army does.”
Their goal is to raise $600,000 during the Kettle Campaign this year to ensure Salvation Army services are available throughout the year.
The Salvation Army says the best way to get involved is to get a group of friends, family or coworkers together and sign up and cover an eight-hour shift or four-hour shift.
“Basically they do a tag team approach. Someone take the first hour, someone else takes the second, etc.,” Ashcraft explained.
“I’m donating 12 hours for this year. In the past I’ve only donated 10, so I think my time that I can donate is more valuable than what I could put in the buckets,” Lutz said.
CLICK HERE for more information on volunteering or to sign up contact Yelena.Ashrapova@use.salvationarmy.org.
You can also donate to the Virtual Kettle by texting CENTRALOH to 71777.