Usually we only see Salvation Army red kettles and bells out around Christmas time-- but for the first year ever, we'll be seeing those red kettles and bells out in the heat next week.
After a harsh winter season, the Salvation Army now faces a $20,000 shortfall. The city is hoping the sound of the bells will help ring in donations during this one week campaign for the Salvation Army.
"We had that shortfall of $20,000," says Major Norman Grainger of the Salvation Army. "And we are hoping to make $20,000 in the week."
Inside the Salvation Army, red kettles and bells have been resting for a few months now.
"This is the first time in Springfield they've ever done a kettle campaign outside of the holidays," says Springfield's Public Information Director Cora Scott.
The sounds of the bells will be back out in full force around town next week ringing in donations from the community.
"It's going to be unusual for people to see us out there," says Major Grainger. "But we just really are making an appeal to the community. We have this shortfall-- can you help us make it up?"
"We feel the Salvation Army in their efforts to shelter people in the winter and other things they do, is doing something the city can't provide as the City of Springfield organization," says Scott. "So we felt we ought to step up and help them recover some of these costs."
A harsh winter put a freeze on the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign donations and made for a crowded cold-weather shelter.
"Normally each year, it's about 40 people a night," says Major Grainger. "But last season, it averaged around 80 a night and in some cases we had over 100 people staying in our building."
Major Grainger says in his ten years here, this past winter was by far the most difficult.
"When you have 100 people coming to you on any given night, that causes some headaches when it comes to providing food and even just cotton," he says. "Having to launder items and things like that-- so a cost came to us that we didn't really expect."
The "Spring Ring" kicked off with a pop up performance by Luke Cooksey at Park Central East Friday with all donations going to the Salvation Army.
"I was very honored to contribute to the Salvation Army," says Pianist Luke Cooksey. "Because they are very helping to the community. It makes me feel very wonderful playing for organizations and things like that."
A reminder that each donation counts.
"I think the easiest way to remind someone is to hear that bell ringing-- which is really a Christmas sound," says Major Grainger. "You're not used to hearing a spring ring and that bell is ringing and it's ringing because we want the community to support the effort we've made."
Another pop up performance will be held at Bass Pro this Friday around 7 p.m.
Kettles will go out Saturday and will stay out until next Friday, May 16. Kettles will not be out Sunday.
Volunteers are needed for the 20 locations around town.
If you'd like to get involved, you can call the Salvation Army at 417-862-5509 Ext. 144.
Ringers will be out from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at places like Pricecutter, Battlefield Mall and Bass Pro.
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