(KRON)—The Salvation Army is facing a Bay Area-wide shortage of holiday bell ringers which are the people that stand in the cold with a bell and red kettle collecting donations for the poor.
The shortage is happening mainly in San Francisco and northern San Mateo County where bell ringers are needed now until Christmas Eve from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Officials with the organization said they have had an average of five people per day when they usually have an average of 20 to 25 people per day volunteering.
“So we are really struggling to get enough ringers,” Salvation Army spokeswoman Sally Robb Haims said.
Salavation Army prefers people who can afford to volunteer, but they do accept people who can be temporary bell ringers, Haims said.
The holiday season is an important time for the organization because most of the money raised goes toward charity work the Salvation Army does the entire year including feeding the hungry, providing shelter to the homeless, running after-school programs and giving toys to children.
“Folks can make a huge difference,” Haims said.
Volunteers can choose when they would like to volunteer and can split a two-hour shift with a friend. Ringers can also sign up as a group.
People who would like to volunteer can sign up at https://volunteer.usawest.org. Anyone with questions about volunteering can get in touch with Lt. Ruairi Ward at (650) 266-4591 or email@example.com.