‘Donate your spare change or spare time’: Local Salvation Army in need of more bell-ringers, donors as need for services triples

The non-profit is now offering more volunteer options than ever

MADISON, Wis.– The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign has been a holiday staple for nearly 130 years. Bell-ringing season begins Friday, Nov. 13, and this year, your support is even more vital. The ongoing pandemic has tripled the number of homeless families living in Dane County and intensified the need for the Salvation Army’s services.

All money raised during the annual seven-week Red Kettle Campaign stays local and allows the Salvation Army to serve families year-round.

This holiday season, the coronavirus has upended the way the non-profit plans to run its campaign. Whether you’re willing to donate spare change or spare time, organizers want you to know there are more ways than ever before to make a difference.

In-Person Opportunities:

Volunteer as a bell-ringer

The Salvation Army is still looking for on-location bell-ringers. For every hour a volunteer spends ringing bells outside of a local grocery store, the Salvation Army of Dane County collects an average of $60: enough money to pay for a women to spend three nights in its local shelter.

This year, all bell-ringers are asked to wear masks and will be stationed at least six feet from their kettles to ensure physical distancing. Click here to sign up for a one or two hour bell-ringing shift.

Donate at a kettle

Let bell-ringers know you see (& hear) them, and drop some loose change or a few dollars in their kettles stationed outside dozens of Madison-area grocery stories.

If you don’t carry cash, you can use the ‘Tap to Donate’ option by scanning the QR code posted on the kettle stand using your smart phone.

Virtual Opportunities:

Create a ‘virtual kettle’ online

This year, you can give without ever leaving your couch by creating a virtual kettle on the Salvation Army’s website. Anyone can make this online page for family and friends to share on their social media channels and encourage others to donate on their site. Click here to create your virtual kettle.

Purchase a kettle pass pin

They’re back! The pins are available in $20, $50, and $100 increments on the Salvation Army’s website. You can buy one and wear it when you walk by on-location bell ringers this season to show them you’ve already donated. Click here to buy your pin.

Participate in the online auction

New this year, the Salvation Army of Dane County is hosting a virtual auction to raise money. Some of the items up for grabs include a New Glarus brewing basket and a framed Giannis Antetokounmpo plaque. Click here to browse the items up for auction.

The Salvation Army of Dane County is working to raise $500,000 between Nov. 13 and Dec. 24 so it can continue to serve our neighbors in need.