By Amanda Fischer
The Capital Area Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to help ring in the holiday season.
The Lansing-based organization needs bell ringers for its annual red kettle campaign, which raises funds to help those in need during the holiday season and beyond. Through Dec. 24, bell ringers will collect donations six days a week at businesses around the Lansing region.
“I am amazed by what the donations in the red kettles do for our community,” said Maj. Jim Irvine, Capital Area Salvation Army coordinator. “Funds raised by our volunteer bell ringers during the Christmas season help support services for people in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties throughout the entire year.”
The red kettle campaign is the Salvation Army’s largest annual fundraising effort, generating nearly a third of funds raised between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31.
Every year, the Capital Area Salvation Army provides local families with food and/or toys for the holidays with the money raised from red kettle collection sites. In addition to that assistance, individuals and families also are provided with access to the other programs the Salvation Army offers such as food assistance, personal needs, baby items, haircuts, community meals, utility assistance, mortgage/rent assistance and church events.
“Thanks to our volunteer bell ringers and donors, last year we were able to provide food assistance to 5,259 individuals and 4,310 personal need kits,” said Irvine. “We also helped 1,017 families with household utilities and another 143 families with rent assistance, keeping them in their homes, schools and jobs. We also served over 15,000 hot meals to people in need.”
The Capital Area Salvation Army is the largest Christmas assistance program in the tri-county region, aiding 2,397 families and 9,572 individuals in the Lansing area last Christmas.
If you are interested in serving as a bell ringer, either as an individual or group, you can sign up at registertoring.com. For questions, contact Jon Curtis, volunteer coordinator, at (517) 484-4424, ext. 208, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.