Salvation Army in “urgent” need of bell ringers

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It’s a familiar sound during the holidays. But this year you won’t hear it as much. “It’s a little nerve-racking just because we’re not really sure who’s going to come in on a daily basis, if we’re going to get all the spots filled,”Salvation Army Captain Luis Acosta said.

While one bell ringer at Kroger was shy about talking on camera, she isn’t shy about her holiday spirit. But she’s one of the only 23 around town. The standard is 48. It’s a tradition that dates all the way back to the 1800’s and as more and more charities pop up every year, a lot of people still believe in those bells. “Of every dollar donated, 83 cents of that dollar goes back into the community and so I think we have a good track record of bringing the funds back to the community.”

If you didn’t know, bell ringing is actually a paid position. In fact, only a few are volunteers. The Salvation Army has called out to the Rescue Mission and the Salvation Army’s rehab center looking for holiday help. “I know it’s temporary and it’s not a lot but if they need a side job for the Christmas season, they can always come and apply.”

Right now, they’re at 15% of their goal of $255,000. Last year two donors helped them out. “I mean we can’t always depend on the same two people to always bail us out.”

There’s still time to get the donations. Finding the people to ask for them is the real challenge. “We’re kind of hopeful still. We’re not near the end yet.”

As less people tend to have cash or change, Salvation Army is trying out a card machine at the kettles. The Kroger on Dupont can now take debit and credit cards. If it goes well, they will consider adding more.

The bell ringing goes until the weekend before Christmas.

Click here if you want to be a ringer.