It’s the jingle bell time of year and volunteers are needed to ring the bells and bring a little jingle to the Salvation Army red kettles.
The Smyth County chapter of the Salvation Army is asking the community for help this holiday season. Bell ringers are needed for collection stations around the county.
“We need the help,” said Rob Keene of Chilhowie, who took over chairmanship duties this year from longtime president Sue Thompson. Volunteers are in short supply at all the red kettle stations, Keene said, and especially at Walmart in Marion, where a captain is needed.
Stations are set up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day except Sundays through Christmas Eve. A shift lasts about two hours.
Individuals, civic and church groups, and businesses are invited to sign up for a single shift or take a day at a bell station. Unmanned kettles will be placed at other business locations.
Keene credits the many people who have helped him and who support the Salvation Army. He especially thanks members of VFW Post 4667 in Marion who sponsor the program and volunteer as bell ringers and provide a place for meetings to be held.
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Red kettles are out through Christmas Eve in various places around the county, including Food City in Marion and Chilhowie, Walmart, the Bank of Chilhowie and in Atkins and Chilhowie elementary schools and Chilhowie High School.
Anyone who wishes to make a contribution by mail may send it to the Salvation Army, PO Box 133, Marion, VA 24354. Electronic contributions may be made through the Salvation Army national website, which has a link to the local chapter. You can even scan a debit or credit card right at the red kettle station.
Over 90% of the funds raised locally stay in the local communities to help low-income families and individuals who are having difficulty in paying for heating costs, food, lodging, utilities, transportation, and medical needs.
Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up at a red kettle site or call Don Musser at 276-782-3677 or Keene at 276-780-5123.