Ring That Bell, the Salvation Army Needs Volunteers
COLUMBIA - This time of year bell ringers hit the store fronts to collect cash. Maj. K. Kendall Mathews of the Columbia and Jefferson City's Salvation Army says there are not enough volunteers this year, so the organization is forced to hire bell ringers for pay.
Although the holiday tradition normally involves volunteer bell ringers -- from civic clubs and community do-gooders -- Mathews believes the Salvation Army is still doing good in the community by providing jobs. "We are strengthening the economy by providing jobs who don't have employment," he said.
One Columbia resident looks forward to this opportunity to make more money. Johnny Northtutt is a bell ringer who lost his wife two months ago and now supports his daughter on his own. This extra money around the holidays means a lot to him. Northtutt's daughter asked for a computer this Christmas. "But I don't know if that's going to happen this year, but she'll get something for Christmas," he said.
Mathews claims people who donate to the Red Kettles can rest assured that 83% of that money goes to the needy in Columbia.
Ultimately, The Salvation Army in Columbia hopes to send only volunteers to store fronts across the community. No matter the ratio of volunteer bell ringers to paid bell ringers, the amount of donated money going to the community stays the same.
Mathews encourages folks in the community to get into the holiday spirit, and give their time as volunteers for Columbia's Salvation Army. "What goes into the kettle is cash...what comes out of the kettle is service, joy. The outcome of giving is endless," he said.