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Salvation Army in Need of Bell Ringers

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Salvation Army is in need of more volunteers to be bell ringers this holiday season.
GREENE COUNTY, Mo. -- While you're likely used to seeing red Salvation Army kettles at businesses this time of year, you may have also noticed fewer people manning those kettles.

The Salvation Army's goal is to raise around $965,000 this season and the organization is in need of volunteers to help reach that goal.

The more volunteers there are, the more it will help the entire community.

Lorraine Griffin and her husband have been dedicating their time for three years now to help ring bells around town.

"This is how we celebrate our Christmas," she says.

A donation of some change, a few dollars or even just a kind word is sure to make her smile.  But the salvation army needs more people like Lorraine this year.

"An empty location with just a red kettle doesn't bring in too much money," says Major Norman Grainger.

The Salvation Army says less people are stepping up to ring the bells this holiday season, which at the end of the day, means less money in the kettles.

"We really need those volunteers," says Grainger.  "They're vital."

There are around 80 locations for bell ringers in Greene and Christian Counties.

"We are having to put paid ringers out," says Grainger.  "And the less paid ringers we have, the more money we get to serve the community at the end of the year."

The money raised now helps with year-round programming.

"This is success or failure for the Salvation Army," Grainger says.  "We will attempt to raise around 1/3 of our annual budget."

As for Lorraine, she finds her happiness in being able to help put meals on the table for those who need them.

"It's a good satisfaction to have the feeling that you have been instrumental in some area to make life better for other people," she says.

Lorraine proudly stands by her kettle from day to night and wouldn't trade it for the world.

"It is well worth it," she says.  "It's a wonderful feeling to know the caring is there for others."

Workers at the Salvation Army tell KOLR10 that the need is continuing to grow in our community.

If you're interested in helping, volunteers can ring the bells for as long or short as they want Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Fridays from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

If you'd like to get involved, call the Salvation Army at 417-862-5509.
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