Salvation Army needs volunteer bell ringers

BIG RAPIDS — The Salvation Army is in need of volunteers to help ring bells for the 2014 Red Kettle Campaign.

The Red Kettle Campaign is the source of funding for Salvation Army activities throughout the year, said Lt. Chris Karlin.

“That money is what helps us serve the entire year,” he said. “It’s what keeps our doors open.”

Bell ringing will begin on Monday, Nov. 17. If collections reach the $80,000 goal by Dec. 24, bell ringing will stop on Christmas Eve. If the goal hasn’t been met, Karlin said the campaign may stretch into the week after Christmas, though he doesn’t like to do that.

Volunteers are needed in several communities: Big Rapids, Reed City, Evart, Newaygo and Fremont. The Salvation Army based in Big Rapids serves Osceola, Lake and Newaygo counties in addition to Mecosta County.

“It’s important for us to meet our goal so we can continue to serve such a large population of people,” Karlin said.

This year’s goal is an increase from last year. In 2013, the Salvation Army aimed for — and raised — $75,000.

“We increased the goal from last year because of the fact we’re seeing an increase in the amount of people we’re serving,” Karlin said. “We raised the goal to continue to be able to provide services.”

Volunteers may sign up throughout the bell ringing season. To volunteer, call the office at (231) 796-5597 or visit and click on volunteer.