David Lenhardt is the kettle coordinator for this year’s Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign in Sedalia, the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser of the year
“This is our main way of raising funds that we are able to give out back to the community in the form of financial assistance,” Lenhardt said. “We have a food pantry here twice a week as well throughout the year, so a very important time of the year.”
The Salvation Army is a familiar presence throughout the year, helping with food boxes, hygiene supplies, financial assistance, and vouchers for toys and food during the Christmas season. They are especially visible during the Christmas season.
“We like to ring the bell at this time of year,” Lenhardt said. “We have the two doors at Walmart, we also have a door at JCPenney and at Woods West as well.”
For every kettle collecting money supporting families, volunteer bellringers are needed to kindly accept the donations and thank the passing shoppers.
“Right now, we are in a recruitment mode to get bellringers to call and volunteer their time in order for us to man these kettles at the different locations,” Lenhardt said. “You just have fun with it.”
Besides greeting happy neighbors on an easy night out, bellringers come away with a good feeling inside.
“They do get a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction,” Lenhardt said. “We are a Christian nonprofit, and this is a way for people to give back if they could donate an hour or two of their time.”
Magen Hudson is the director of the Sedalia Salvation Army service center and sees the happiness ringing a bell for charity can bring written on the faces of volunteers.
“We have returned volunteers every year that sign up to ring the bell,” Hudson said Monday, Nov. 20. “It's great for people to give back that maybe are not able to reach into their own checkbooks or wallets, but they're able to give up their time. That makes a huge difference; just going out there and ringing the bell for two hours can feed a family for a week.”
Any funds raised in Pettis County are used to help people in Pettis County, and the fulfillment gained by Salvation Army bellringers is in being of good service to fellow man.
“That's that fulfillment that, ‘Hey, I helped a family in need,’” Hudson said. “I might not be able to go above and beyond, but just showing up for an hour can make a huge difference.”
Volunteers are needed from Nov. 24 until Dec. 23, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The sign-up process to be a Salvation Army bellringer is simple. Groups and individuals can sign up at RegisterToRing.com, by calling 660-826-1525 or by messaging Facebook.com/TSASedalia.
Chris Howell can be reached at 660-530-0146.