Salvation Army chapters across Iowa are asking for more help in staffing their red kettle sites as part of Christmas fundraising campaigns.

Major Geffory Crowell of the Mason City Salvation Army says the organization has implemented safety protocols at kettle sites due to the pandemic.

“We need folks to sign up,” Crowell says. “I know a lot of people might be afraid because of COVID to go out and do that, but it’s a very safe activity. You stay socially distanced, you are standing by the kettle, it’s outside, everyone is wearing masks, so it is possible.”

Other protocols include all kettle equipment being cleaned prior to use, bell ringers not having any physical contact with donations or individuals, and bell ringers will be provided a training video that shows how to safely perform their duties and engage with the public in a COVID environment.

Crowell says there are numerous locations and times to choose from, and you can sign up easily online at

“Register To Ring is a great system,” he says. “Once you’re signed up, it will send you a reminder email. It will keep you up to date, and it’s just the easiest way to do it.”

Crowell says he’s taken a couple of turns manning a kettle site and so far it’s been a great experience.

“I have, and the people are great,” Crowell says. “The folks we’ve had out and the people we’ve worked with at the various stores have been fantastic. They give from their heart, they’re a loving, giving people. We just need to have our spots filled and that takes volunteers.”

For those making donations, many kettle sites use Apple Pay and Google Pay technology in order to provide donors with an additional contactless form of donation.

For more information about your local Salvation Army, head to

By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City