Cedar Rapids Salvation Armyer spokesperson Shalla Ashworth, says Iowa isn’t the only state needing more ringers. “We’re seeing a national trend that things are getting a little more challenging to get ringers for various reasons. Folks are working longer, we don’t have some of the retired folks we are used to. Folks aren’t able to get out to the various places,” Ashworth says.
Ashworth says while they’ve had a harder time finding individual bell-ringers, they have had an increase in groups that sign up for a shift. “That can be families that are looking for an opportunity for them as a family group. Or groups that come and do it for their organization, businesses, churches and even school groups have been coming,” Ashworth says. “So, there’s lots of different opportunities.” She says the time commitment depends on how much time you have.
“The minimal is two hours and we ring typically form 10 in the morning until eight in the evening — two hour shifts — some of the spots don’t start until 12 noon, just depends on where you are looking,” according to Ashworth. “Two hours. If you do it in a group and it’s chilly you can trade off, go in and have a cup of coffee, come back outside and ring some more.”
Ashworth says you can find opportunities anywhere in Iowa by going to the Salvation Army’s website at: SalvationArmy.org. “It gives you an option to search for a location. So if you’re for example in Marshalltown you can search for that zip code and it will get you to the right place to sign up. Or Council Bluffs or the Quad Cities and they will help you get signed up for the right location for your area,” Ashworth says. She says the Red Kettle Campaign is an important fundraiser that allows them to continue their work helping people throughout the year. She says they serve meals, provide supplemental food boxes and assist with rent or utilities to families.