The local Salvation Army may be a few ringers short of a full cadre of volunteers for the holiday, but the money’s coming in.
“We’re allowed to have seven locations, and we usually have enough volunteers to have three or four in operation,” said Priscilla Lang, local Salvation Army director.
“So far, though, it doesn’t appear that we’re behind any on collections.”
And Lang said the volunteers who have stepped up, “are great.”
The manned collection sites are two at Wal-Mart, one at Heartland Mall and another at J.C. Penney’s, and one each at Kroger, Brookshire’s and Big Lots. In addition, Lang said, there are unmanned red kettles at Citizens National Bank and TexasBanks in Brownwood and Bangs.
Typically, Lang said, a volunteer will “ring the bell” at a kettle site for a two-hour time period.
“Any more than that it can get kind of long,” Lang said. But for anyone who cannot do a two-hour shift, the time can be shortened to one hour.
Lang said a number of groups, organizations, Sunday school classes or church congregations have volunteered together. Abundant Life Church members have volunteered to “man” the kettles every Tuesday of the month. Other churches have “adopted a whole day” and their members have been at the sites ringing bells.
Bell ringers are needed from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the last day for collections this season being Dec. 24. The Salvation Army doesn’t take in collections on Sundays.
“All of the money collected here, stays here,” Lang said. “About a third of our budget is made from the kettle donations and the money is used for the operation of Loaves and Fishes, our soup kitchen, and the rent, utility and disaster assistance the Salvation Army offers.”
Anyone who would like to volunteer to help collect at the kettles can contact Lang between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at The Salvation Army offices, 405 Lakeway Dr. The phone number is 646-7357. Donations can also be sent to The Salvation Army at P.O. Box 911; Brownwood, TX 76804-0911.