The Salvation Army’s holiday fundraising campaign kicks off next week in Thurston County, with bell ringers asking for donations alongside the group’s signature red kettle.
In past years some bell ringers were paid, but this year the Olympia group is using all volunteers. “It’s just too expensive to hire people,” said Richard Pease of The Salvation Army Olympia Corps.
Volunteer bell ringers are asked to put in two-hour shifts from Nov. 17 to Dec. 23. Pease said the group is aiming for 3,600 hours of bell ringing in that time.
Aprons, bells and kettles will be provided; Santa hats are optional.
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Money raised last year went to sheltering more than 1,000 people in the Olympia area and providing more than 100,000 meals, according to the local group.
The Salvation Army says nearly 70 percent of its annual donations come in during the red kettle campaign.
To volunteer, go to bit.ly/OlympiaRedKettle, call 360-352-8596 ext. 1114 or email Mike.Oravits@usw.salvationarmy.org.