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Salvation Army looking for Bell Ringers in El Paso County for Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Salvation Army is recruiting bell ringers for their Red Kettle Campaign.

Friday, Nov. 18 is the kickoff. There will be 60 red kettle locations across El Paso County by Black Friday ranging from businesses such as Walgreens, Safeway, Walmart, and more. The Salvation Army is hoping to raise $200,000 across El Paso County. But they need more bill ringers to make that happen.

Bell ringers can either volunteer or get paid for their service.

"Where we don't get enough volunteers, we do hire bell ringers," Salvation Army El Paso County Coordinator Captain Doug Hanson said. "So if you need some extra money this Christmas season, we're hiring bell ringers if they come on down to our main campus on Yuma Street and we'll get you signed up to spread some holiday cheer this Christmas season."

Bell ringers can go as a family, with a friend, or solo. Volunteers say the experience is very rewarding and can turn into a holiday tradition.

"If you're making this a family fun tradition, for me and my family we volunteer a number of hours every Christmas season," Hanson said. "It's hot cocoa for the girls and dad gets coffee. but it's teaching your children how to give back and how to help others in need. If we can install that from generation to generation, we're making America a better place to live in."

Last year, the Salvation Army served 1 in every 15 people in the El Paso County community.

"We're always shocked at the stories we hear," Hanson said. "People coming up to the bell ringers telling fond stories of how the salvation army was there in the Vietnam War, or how the Salvation Army was there last year paying their utility bill."

The money collected in red kettles helps to provide Christmas gifts to children in El Paso County who would otherwise go without. The donations also help provide food, shelter, and utility assistance to those locally who need it all year long.

Virtually, you can donate to the Red Kettle Challenge by creating your own online red kettle fundraiser or donating to an existing one.

You can also get involved as a bell ringer and pick a shift at a location across El Paso County.

With the Salvation Army's annual Thanksgiving Community Dinner approaching, they are also in need of servers and delivery drivers.

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Natasha Lynn

Natasha is a reporter for Good Morning Colorado during the week and on weekends.

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