The bells of The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign will be ringing with a bit more urgency this year.
“We’re behind,” Capt. Wesley Dalberg said.
In the first nine days of the 2009 holiday fundraiser, bell-ringers raised $14,370. That’s about $4,800 short of this time last year.
Despite that initial shortfall, Dalberg remains confident that collections will pick up as his agency works toward its $108,000 goal. About $103,000 was donated last year.
One reason this year’s early collections are down, Dalberg said, is because bell-ringers can’t set up outside Walmart stores until the Friday after Thanksgiving — under an agreement at the national level between the retailer and The Salvation Army. That’s new. Last year’s early totals included donations at Walmart, 3300 Iowa. It was the top moneymaker in the campaign. But there’s a reason for optimism.
“With the additional Walmart store out on Sixth and Wakarusa, I really think that will help push us over,” Dalberg said.
More bell-ringers still are needed to join other volunteers who work Monday through Saturday at the 15 kettle sites in Lawrence. To help, call 843-4188. And while The Salvation Army can use as many volunteers as possible, the agency also hires paid bell-ringers. To apply, go to Sedona Staffing Services, 825 Vt.