November 17, 2013

An appeal for Christmas bell ringers

November 17, 2013 The Valdosta Daily Times

--- — The Salvation Army needs bell ringers. It’s a call that goes out each year in cities across the United States. The ringing of bells while people drop cash and coins in the Salvation Army kettles is as familiar a part of Christmas as Santa Claus and the Nativity scene. The money helps fund the Salvation Army’s good works not only during the holidays but throughout the entire year.

In many cities, these bell ringers are entirely a force of volunteers. These volunteers ring the bells and man the kettles at stores.

In Valdosta and Lowndes County, there are many individuals, churches and organizations that have made a tradition of volunteering with the Salvation Army.

Still, as the holidays approach, as Valdosta-Lowndes County’s bell-ringing will begin the Friday after Thanksgiving, Salvation Army Capt. Guy Nickum estimates that he will not have enough volunteers to see him through each day of the season between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

He will have to hire people to ring the bells. If he doesn’t, the region’s kettles will not be manned full-time.

At past posts in other towns, Nickum has marshaled an all-volunteer troop to ring the bells and man the kettles. Now in his fifth year in Valdosta, it is here that he must pay people to help raise the money needed to keep the Salvation Army’s doors open and its programs operating.

For any individual, business, school, club, church or other organization, there are plenty of dates and locations to volunteer. All you have to do is be able to give some time and ring a bell.

To volunteer as a bell ringer, call Capt. Guy Nickum, Salvation Army, (229) 242-6440.

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