A job fair of sorts today (Thursday) will be an extremely musical event, as the Salvation Army recruits bell-ringers for its holiday season. Spokeswoman Abby Hausmann says a high-school bell choir and singers from a Des Moines grade school will accompany the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble.

The “Kettle Kickoff” will be staged at many places around the state and the country, to begin a holiday fundraising campaign dubbed “Miracle of the Bell.” “It’s really just about grabbing the public’s attention,” she says. Events are scheduled in Des Moines and other towns that have salvation-army chapters. Typically, they start swinging those bells the week of Thanksgiving, Hausmann says. This year they’ll begin November 17 and continue through December 23rd, outside many local grocery stores and shopping centers collecting money for the needy.

Target stores this year made a donation to the Salvation Army but will continue to ban bell-ringers, saying they bother customers. Quick to see the opportunity, competing Wal-Mart has declared its partnership with the red-kettle volunteers and will have bell-ringers at its doors. Typically they’re also found in front of Hy-Vee and Fareway stores and K-Mart’s a sponsor, too, she says.

To volunteer anywhere in the country, surf to “ring bells dot-org” and sign up for any shift at any location they have. There are goals for each town and the Salvation Army’s hoping to raise 90-thousand dollars in Newton, 76-thousand dollars in Ottumwa, over 140-thousand in Marshalltown, 100-thousand in Fort Dodge, 117-thousand in Boone, and a half-Million dollars in Des Moines

Related web sites:
Salvation Army volunteer site