MARQUETTE- It's that time of year again when the ringing of bells fills the air as the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign kicks off for the 2013 season.
The campaign started Nov. 11 and will run through noon on Christmas Eve. The Salvation Army is currently in need of volunteers willing to be bell ringers. Right now the schedule for bell ringing is wide open, said Capt. Cappy Moore of the Marquette Salvation Army.
"There's a lot of availability. We haven't had a lot of people sign up," Moore said. "We really need people to help cover our top four spots, which are the two doors at Walmart, Super One and Econo Foods. Friday and Saturday are great days, but any day of the week is helpful."
Mark Doucette rings a bell outside Super One Foods in Negaunee Tuesday to raise money on behalf of The Salvation Army for its annual Red Kettle Campaign. (Journal photo by Zach Jay)
There are 10 locations in Marquette for people to volunteer. These include both doors at Walmart, Super One, Econo Foods, JC Penney, Kohls, Valles, both doors at Shopko, Walgreens, Big Lots and Jack's in Harvey. To volunteer as a bell ringer, a person must be 16 years old or older.
"If anybody younger wants to bell ring they can have their parents sign up and go with them," Moore said. "Children are welcome on the sites, it's just that they need to have an adult supervise them."
The goal this year is set at $100,000. Last year the goal was also set at $100,000 but the Red Kettle Campaign raised about $96,500. So the Salvation Army of Marquette is hoping to top $100,000 this year, Moore said.
"It's the Salvation Army's main fundraiser. It's pretty much the only fundraiser we do all year long," he said. "Just an hour commitment during the Christmas season can help us meet the needs of people throughout the whole year."
The donations go toward general operations. According to Moore, if the Salvation Army raises more than just its basic monthly expenses, some of it will be applied to its deficit, which is about $500,000.
"The donations help us keep the lights on, the doors open, food on the shelves to give out to hungry families and our lunch program continuing to run and feed hungry people Monday through Friday," he said.
To sign up for a shift, go to samarquette.org, pick a store and then pick a time and day. All of the equipment needed to bell ring will be waiting at the location for a person to use. Shifts are a minimum of an hour long. The schedule starts at 10 a.m. and goes until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For more information on the Red Kettle Campaign or how to bell ring contact Moore at 458-5964.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.