SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – If you’ve been to your neighborhood grocery story recently chances are you’ve seen a Salvation Army red donation kettle and a volunteer bell ringer standing nearby.
The Salvation Army has been supporting those in need since 1865. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a broad array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter for the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children.
Rob Lawler, Captian for The Salvation Army, says donations made in Utah to the red donation kettles or online stay local.
“They help everything from ‘Angel Tree’ to even food boxes throughout the year–sometimes used for keeping the lights on. They go to be used locally in this community,” Capt. Lawler says.
Bell ringers are mostly volunteers, says Capt. Lawler but says they sometimes have to pay them to fill all 78, just in the Salt Lake area and are looking to staff those areas from 6 to 8 hours a day.
This season, The Salvation Amry is looking for corporations, churches and family volunteers to help defer the staffing costs and increase donations. Having volunteers allows all the donations to go directly to benefiting others
RuthAnn Majnik, Salvation Army Bell Ringer says nothing gets her in the Christmas spirit like ringing her bell and wishing people “Happy Holidays.”
RuthAnn says shes been a bell ringer off and on for six years and says the purpose and the people keep her coming back.
“Giving–just giving. If we can do something, our part to help, the kids need toys and clothes and everything, so every little bit that we can do. And, I just love the people and the public.”
She says standing there gets long and cold but says she leaves each shift feeling good and has a message for anyone who might be feeling lonely this holiday season.
“For those out there, if you don’t have a job, if you’re feeling a little down, it makes you feel really good to give back to the community, and you get to meet people and it makes you feel good,” RuthAnn says.
The Salvation Army is making it easier for donors to give back during the Christmas season adding Apple Pay or Google Pay at the iconic Red Kettles. The Salvation Army has placed smart chips and QR codes on Red Kettle signs allowing shoppers to simply scan their phones to make a digital donation.
To read more about the mobile donations here.
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