Salvation Army Short of Thousands of Red Kettle Bell-Ringers Due to COVID-19

Right now more than 2,300 shifts are unfilled at the 17 kettle locations in Duluth. 

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth Salvation Army is in desperate need of bell ringers for its annual Red Kettle Campaign which starts Saturday.

Right now more than 2,300 shifts are unfilled at the 17 kettle locations in Duluth.

Salvation Army officials said lack of volunteers is mostly due to COVID-19 fears, but bell-ringing is safe they say. All one has to do is ring a bell, spread some cheer, and encourage people to put their own money in the kettle.

Along with hand sanitizer kettles will also have smartphone QR codes to donate with Google or Apple Pay.

Donations from the kettles make up about 10% of Salvation Army’s budget and bell ringers give that a needed boost.

“For a one hour period of time a kettle with bell ringers raised $59 more than a kettle without bell ringers,” Development Director Dan Williamson said. “For $59 we figure we can feed 24 people with our hot lunch program.”

Nationwide, the need for Salvation Army services have gone up 155% since March. “The need has always been there, but this year the need just happens to be its greatest,” said Williamson.

He said volunteers are also seriously needed for Christmas gift wrapping and meal distribution — which is extended this year to Dec. 14-18.

You can sign up to bell ring online, by phone or at Salvation Army’s 27th Avenue West location.