As the holiday season approaches, the Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to ring bells at its many red kettle stops and locations, including in Shawano and New London.
“The shifts are two hours long and we have four different locations,” said Stacey Cicero, from the Salvation Army in Shawano. “The shifts start at 9 a.m. and the last shift is from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and we only ring on Fridays and Saturdays.”
The locations that will have the red kettles in Shawano will be both entrances at Walmart, Charlie’s County Market, Pick ‘N Save, and Qualheim’s True Value. Cicero says that they’re hoping to have more volunteers than last year, but overall they’ve done a good job raising money.
“Last year we had quite a few open spots. It was kind of a cold winter last year, but what I can say is that each year we’ve increased the amount of money we’ve collected during the Red Kettle Campaign, so that’s always been positive. Last year we added the warming shelters in Walmart, so nobody stands in the elements.”
Cicero adds that the other bell-ringing location businesses allow for ringing to be door indoors.
June Sawall is the Salvation Army’s coordinator for New London and she says any volunteer help is needed and appreciated.
“We usually ask them to do two-hour shifts, but they can definitely do longer,” said Sawall. “If they have problems, one hour is fine too. Sawall says each city is different, but the Salvation Army in New London rings Mondays through Saturdays. Bell ringing begins the day after Thanksgiving and runs until Christmas Eve.
The Salvation Army helps those in need with any necessities, and more importantly, the money stays local.
“We help everybody in Waupaca County. The priorities are rent and utilities, and we do others like emergency food if we need to. The money that is raised in Waupaca County stays in Waupaca County.”
The same holds true for all counties. Sawall explains that 14 percent of the money goes towards headquarters for funds to aid in disaster relief and other various charitable efforts, but the remaining stays in the county. The salvation Army relies on the money raised through the red kettles because it’s they only fundraiser of the year.
“I’ve thought about having a fundraising dinner, but then you’re always gambling because if you spend money to do it, hopefully you break even,” said Sawall. “Any money that we take away to use somewhere else, then that’s money that takes away, let’s say that helps five people with rent.”
Below is a list of contact information for the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Coordinators:
Shawano: Mike @ 715-584-1230 OR 715-584-1811
New London: June @ 920-538-3249
Clintonville: Chuck @ 715-460-4107
Manawa: Ron @ 920-596-2478
Waupaca: Jerry @ 715-258-5012
Wega/Fremont: Mary J. @ 920-538-2025