BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign is its largest fund raiser of the year for the charity.
Organizers feel COVID-19 fears may be making people hesitant to volunteer.
“The issue we have now we certainly need some volunteer groups to step up and ring the kettle bells for the Salvation Army this holiday season,” Major Bill Shafer told WBRC.
Shafer described the manpower problem striking Tuscaloosa’s Salvation Army right before the start of this holiday season. He said that they only have about 30 percent of the volunteers they need right now to ring bells at red kettles this year. Shafer fears COVID-19 is partly responsible.
“You’ll learn we’re very safe. We wear our mask, we ring the bell. We wish everybody a merry Christmas, and we need your help,” Major Shafer added.
Tuscaloosa’s Salvation Army hopes to raise $100,000 between now and Christmas. Since the pandemic started, its also seen more people come here seeking food from its pantry. In light of the shortage of volunteers, they’ve also rolled out a virtual red kettle web site in hopes of encouraging people donate in a way that might make them feel safer.
“When you’re looking at 15 locations , 7 hours a day for 25 days, we need a lot of volunteers,” Shafer continued.
Bell ringing starts this Saturday at Tuscaloosa’s Walmart. If you know someone or part of a group interested in ringing red kettle bells for the Salvation Army or donating online, you can call (205)632-3691 or donate online here.