COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Hear a bell, and you know a red kettle is nearby.
“I know people are coming and going quickly, and it’s okay. They still are kind enough to throw a smile this way, I’m getting a whole lot of ‘Merry Christmases’ back, so that’s nice. It makes my day too,”said Raquel Voeks, a volunteer bell ringer.
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign is back in full swing this holiday season and this year they’re hoping to raise $400,000.
“That money is really important to us. It helps keep our shelter open, it helps pay our bills. It’s money that we can use anywhere, so you can pay your electric bill, your gas bill. And that money helps us feed over 180,000 meals a year,” said Major Richard Larson, county coordinator for El Paso County.
With 70 kettle locations in El Paso County, The Salvation Army needs all the volunteers it can get.
This year, they’re hoping to have volunteers make up 40 percent of their bell ringers in El Paso County.
“You kind of become like a family. It’s just a wonderful, rewarding feeling to be able to give, to give of yourself. And people do appreciate it, and you get that back,” Voeks said.
No matter the weather, volunteers know how to keep warm.
“Moving around helps a lot too and participating with the customers coming in and out is keeping me nice and warm,” Voeks said. “A little change or a few dollar bills, it all adds up.”
The Salvation Army’s bell ringers will be out with their kettles until Christmas Eve.>> Click here for more information on how you can volunteer.