PORTLAND — As The Salvation Army enters the heart of its Red Kettle Campaign, a shortage of volunteer bell ringers is placing the campaign goal in jeopardy.
There are more than 300 of the familiar red kettles throughout The Salvation Army’s Northern New England Division which includes Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Fewer bell ringers mean fewer red kettles on street corners and in shopping areas — and fewer donations to help those in need.
Major James LaBossiere, divisional commander for the Northern New England Division, understands how much local units of the organization rely on the red kettles to assist men, women and children not just during the Christmas season but throughout the year.
“People can’t give if there’s no one there ringing the bells,” said LaBossiere. “If we do not have enough people to man these locations then we will lose a significant amount of funds that support many programs and services.”
With income from its Christmas Kettle Campaign lagging behind expectations and fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, The Salvation Army is asking individuals, church groups, social clubs, schools and businesses to ring the bell on behalf of local families in need.
As of Dec. 3 The Salvation Army has collected $338,605 through its red kettle effort, a holiday fundraising tradition that dates back to the 1890s. This year The Salvation Army set a goal of $2,058,805 in its Northern New England Division.
Contact the local Salvation Army or visit www.SalvationArmyNNE.org on the website home page under 2014 Holiday programs. Click on “Become a bell ringer.”
For more information, contact Pat James at 207-774-6304, ext. 232.