Local News

Salvation Army in need of bell ringers, volunteers in Fayetteville area

Posted November 16, 2018 5:44 p.m. EST
Updated November 16, 2018 5:58 p.m. EST

— An organization that helps so many is now in need of assistance itself.

This year, due to Hurricanes Florence and Michael, Major Tim Grider, director of the Salvation Army, says there is a shortage of volunteers to ring the infamous bells.

Kevin Gothard has been ringing the red kettle bell for the Salvation Army for three years. He knows the small donations add up and help lots of people.

"The homeless people who need it, where families can't get Christmas and stuff like that for the kids. That's what we do this for," he said.

The Salvation Love Lunch, which is served year-round, is paid for with money from the red kettles.

Sharman Tober says the meals are a blessing.

"They feed us lunch, and during the hurricane they even fed us dinner, which we appreciated," she said.

The Salvation Army of Fayetteville has red kettles and bell ringers at 45 locations throughout Cumberland, Moore, Hoke, Robeson and Scotland counties. Officials said each kettle can average donations of $400 to $500 per day.

"It's that kind of an impact. So, that times 45 ... most folks don't know that in this five- or six-month period of the year we raise over two-thirds of our whole year's budget," Grider said.

The money also pays utility bills for those in need and provide toys for the Angel Tree program. This year, 100 percent of the Angel Tree program is dedicated to those impacted by the hurricanes.

"We're looking at somewhere around 2,000 (people). And we're still taking some families in, so that will go up a little bit more we're sure," Grider said.

The Salvation Army has about 20 to 30 paid bell ringer positions available. The organization also needs about 50 to 100 volunteers to man the kettles this holiday season.

Anyone who is interested in helping should contact the Salvation Army in Fayetteville.