A lot of Salvation Army Red Kettles in Iowa are without a companion bell ringer this holiday season. Arvid Huisman, with the Salvation Army in Des Moines, says there’s still plenty of time for people to volunteer.
He says the bell ringing campaign runs through December 24th and volunteers can sign up online at www.ringbells.org. The Salvation Army in Des Moines has set a Red Kettle campaign fundraising goal of 600-thousand dollars. Huisman says a shortage of bell ringers could make a difference.
“A Red Kettle that is staffed with a bell ringer will bring in substantially more revenue than a kettle that is unstaffed,” Huisman said. “There’s no formula for it, but I’ve seen unstaffed Red Kettles with three, four or five dollars in it…and that same location, with a bell ringer, can bring in 200 or 300 dollars.”
Salvation Army officials in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids have also reported bell ringer shortages this year. Meanwhile, volunteer numbers in Dubuque and Council Bluffs have been strong. Other Iowa cities that have Salvation Army bell ringers include Sioux City, Mason City, Davenport, Clinton, Keokuk, Ottumwa and Marshalltown.