Salvation Army sees shortage of bell ringers for second year


LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Ala. — The Salvation Army said it’s enduring another holiday season with shortages of signups for needed volunteers and paid bell ringers.

The cause? Nothing new, according to Commanding Officer for Salvation Army of The Shoals Richard Watts.

“We’ve been struggling to find bell ringers here in the Shoals and we struggled last year, so since we’re still dealing with the pandemic it’s not surprising that we’re still having a bell ringer shortage,” he said.

Staffing shortages rooted in the pandemic still impact North Alabama’s Red Kettle campaigns.

“(It) doesn’t make it any easier, but it’s not surprising,” Watts said.

Watts said the chapter has still been able to send out some bell ringers since Saturday, but Thanksgiving weekend is extremely important to bring in donations needed for the charity’s social programs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and homeless shelters.

He added they’re not just for Christmas, but for the entire new year.

“Our goal is $200,000. And again, that’s for us, not exactly a dollar figure as it is people we can help.”

One solution is not ringing, but clicking. The organization also asks for volunteers to be virtual ringers online.

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