Salvation Army seeking holiday bell ringer volunteers

Volunteers wanted in Clay, Duval, Nassau, St. Johns counties

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's almost time for the Salvation Army bell ringers to hit the streets for donations, and right now they are looking of volunteers.

"The Salvation Army kettles are a staple not just for the Salvation Army but the Christmas season," said Lt. Ben Bridges, Corps Officer for the Salvation Army. "Everybody knows Christmas is here once they see that kettle out and hear that bell ringer."

Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties all need volunteers. Last year, Salvation Army collected about $757,000 for all four counties. This year, it hopes to raise $800,000.

The nonprofit is seeking volunteers from age 15 to seniors. Students younger than 15 may volunteer with an adult chaperone. High school students can earn community service hours if they help out.

"We're looking for all kinds of people," Bridges said. "The rule is you have to have a smile on your face and a kind word for the people passing by."

Shifts range anywhere from one hour to an entire day.

The Red Kettle fundraising campaign runs from Nov. 9 through Christmas Eve at major retailers like Publix, Walmart and Winn-Dixie, to name a few.

The kettle program not only helps the nonprofit aid families during the holiday season but throughout the whole year.

"Without the volunteers during Christmas for our kettle program, we wouldn't be able to operate for the rest of the year," Bridges said.

One hour of bell ringing will feed 50 people a hot meal.

If you want to be a volunteer call 904-276-6677 for Clay County; 904-353-6303 for Duval County; 904-321-0435 for Nassau County; or 904-824-6880 for St. Johns County.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.