Multiple opportunities to support a good cause, and make a little money, remain available through The Salvation Army.
Every year, The Salvation Army pays a handful of its bell-ringers to man their kettles outside popular stores.
Hiring bell-ringers is an important part of the season, said Salvation Army Capt. Justin Windell, who with his wife, Capt. Sarah Windell, are the corps officers for The Salvation Army of Jefferson City.
Paid ringers provide service during hours when businesses are open, but people are working and unable to volunteer, Justin Windell said.
"We know that people are out of work and needing some help with employment," Windell said. "We hire about 40 people every year."
The Salvation Army provides minimum wage ($9.45 per hour in Missouri).
The organization does the application process in an old-school way, using paper applications, Windell said.
"We prefer to have (applications) in our hands," he said.
Unfortunately, it has only received about 10 applications. And typically, some of those applicants don't show up for orientation.
To apply for a paid position, visit The Salvation Army, 927 Jefferson St., and pick up an application.
"We also have orientation days, when people can come in and fill out their application in one day," Windell said.
Those days begin at 5 p.m. Nov. 3 and 17. They typically last a couple of hours.
Dale Holman, a Jefferson City woman, applies as a paid bell-ringer every year.
"I just enjoy doing it. It's for a good cause," Holman said. "It's especially nice to have the income."
Holman and her son ring bells during the holiday season, she said. They attend the orientation sessions and are usually standing beside a kettle the day the campaign begins.
Bell ringing in Jefferson City this year will begin at a kick-off event at 11 a.m. Nov. 14 at Capital Mall, 3600 Country Club Drive in Jefferson City. The Salvation Army theme for Christmas season this year is "Rescue Christmas," so the guest speaker at the event is expected to be a Jefferson City Fire Department official. During the event, awards will be given for the previous year's community partner and volunteer of the year.
"Some people say it's too early to be ringing bells," Holman said. "But, we have to raise a lot of money (to feed people). It doesn't just feed people. It helps people with electricity bills and other (concerns) the whole year around."
The Salvation Army leaves registration open until Christmas Eve, Windell said.
"Last year, I hired someone four days before Christmas Eve. I wish he had filled out the app earlier, because he was one of my better ringers," he continued.
The man had arrived at the shelter shortly before he began bell ringing.
"Those four days of bell ringing helped him get on his feet. I wrote him a recommendation for another job," Windell said. "Now, he is out of the shelter."
For many, it's a holiday tradition to volunteer to ring bells and man the Salvation Army kettles, Windell said.
Visit the Register to Ring website, registertoring.com, to sign up for opportunities to volunteer.
People may register as individuals or groups.
The site allows you to pick the location and shift you wish to work.
So far, all the Jefferson City stores that allowed The Salvation Army to ring last year are again cooperating this year, Windell said, although some have corporate contracts that prevent ringing before Thanksgiving.
"People signing up is slow," he said. "I only have a few groups signing up. Maybe people don't want to plan during 2020 because things just keep getting canceled."
However, The Salvation Army is taking steps to protect bell-ringers from the COVID-19 virus. It is providing masks and hand sanitizer. It's also providing cleaner, so ringers can clean the bell and kettle regularly. Instead of switching aprons with people, the organization is providing buttons that can more easily be disinfected.
"Folks should sign up now," he said. "Short of a weather issue, I don't see us canceling kettles."