The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign is gearing up to start, but it still needs bell ringers.
As we recently reported, the organization typically hires around 40 bell ringers, paying $9.45 an hour.
It had only received about 10 applications as of late October. And typically, some of those applicants don't show up for orientation.
The campaign is the organization's largest fundraiser — and raises money to feed the hungry. It features paid bell ringers to man the familiar red kettles inside stores during the holiday season.
It may seem premature to start a holiday season fundraiser before Thanksgiving, but the drive actually started a little earlier last year. So it's not a case of Christmas creep like the "Black Friday" deals in October.
It's only temporary and part-time income, but it's still somewhat surprising more people haven't jumped at the offer, especially considering the pandemic has caused a loss of income for many people.
The Salvation Army will have a second orientation day Nov. 17 for people to come in and fill out an application. It starts at 5 p.m. and typically lasts a couple of hours.
You can also visit The Salvation Army, 927 Jefferson St., and pick up an application.
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 the 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.
The Salvation Army is making changes to keep bell ringers and contributors safe during the pandemic. It is providing masks and hand sanitizer as well as cleaner for ringers to clean the bell and kettle regularly. Instead of switching aprons with people, the organization is providing buttons that can more easily be disinfected.
If you like greeting people and working for a good cause — while also making money doing it — consider being a bell ringer for the Red Kettle campaign this year.