“We are having an extremely hard time finding bell ringers and volunteers,” he said. “The more money we have to spend for paid bell ringers the less money we have to help people. We are extremely low on donations this year. ”
The money raised through the Red Kettle Campaign is used to help people pay for their utilities, assist with food and support the charity’s operations. This year the Salvation Army hopes to raise $231,000.
“Every dollar we raise stays here,” he said. “All the money we raise in Madison County, stays in Madison County. And 85 percent of every dollar goes back to people in direct assistance.”
Shirley Hayden of Anderson was shopping at the Hobby Lobby when she stopped to offer words of kindness to a woman ringing a bell in the single-digit temperatures on Wednesday.
“It takes a very special person to do it,” she said.
Michelle Bumgardner, 40, thanked Hayden and continued to greet every shopper with a blessing and smile.
“It’s a little cold,” Bumgardner said as a light snow coated her head and shoulders. “I can definitely feel it in my face.”
Bumgardner said the news about Smith was devastating.
“He looked forward to it every year,” she said.
Salvation Army kettles are located at various shopping locations around the county and in some businesses including the lobby of The Herald Bulletin.
This year the newspaper has created an Empty Stocking Fund for the Salvation Army. Anyone who makes a contribution to the fund can provide their name to be published in the newspaper. Donations, which can be mailed or brought to the newspaper, can also remain anonymous. All checks should be made out to the Salvation Army.
The Herald Bulletin will publish periodic updates with a list of donors and the number of donations received. See Page A3 for the most recent list.