Duluth Salvation Army In Need of Bell Ringers

'Tis the season for Salvation Army Red Kettle bell ringers who started their work this weekend, and the Duluth Salvation Army is urging people to volunteer as its base is significantly smaller because of the pandemic.

DULUTH, Minn. – ‘Tis the season for Salvation Army Red Kettle bell ringers who started their work this weekend, and the Duluth Salvation Army is urging people to volunteer as its base is significantly smaller because of the pandemic.

Organizers say the Duluth Salvation Army has experienced a 60% decrease in volunteers this year because of the pandemic.

They say fundraisers like Red Kettle Days are important making up 10% of the Salvation Army’s annual budget and it also rings in the holiday season.

However, because Red Kettle Days encourage high numbers of direct giving and the use of cash, people have been hesitant about volunteering this year.

“This year’s a little scary because of the pandemic and we rely on traffic and people getting together and stores and change and dollars and all those things have just really been impacted so we’re really reading and to see if anyone can give in a different way,” said Kristy Eckart, the business administrator for the Duluth Salvation Army.

At each of Duluth’s 17 kettle locations, there are also signs for contactless virtual kettles where people can scan a QR code and give with their smartphones.

Organizers say the red kettles are symbolic of the holiday cheer and the bell ringing ushers in the Christmas spirit.

“This is kind of our signature event,” said Eckart. “People think of the Salvation Army, they think of the kettles, they think of the bell ringers. I brought my little bell actually. It’s a familiar sound. It really means the beginning of Christmas, it’s the beginning of giving.”

You can sign up to volunteer for a two-hour shift or donate on the Salvation Army’s website. You can also call or stop by their headquarters on 27th Avenue West.

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