MASON CITY, Iowa - It's that time of year to hear the sound of bells ringing; specifically, the bells of those collecting donations for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign.
Using the theme 'Rescue Christmas', the campaign is now officially underway, with the Mason City chapter setting a goal of raising $97,000 that will be used towards services like the adult day center and youth programs. However, while the pandemic has exacerbated the need for these programs and services at their chapters across the country, the Salvation Army predicts a 50% decrease in red kettle funds due to a variety of factors, namely the recent closures of some brick and mortar stores, unemployment rates, consumers carrying less cash and coins, and more online shopping, meaning less foot traffic in shopping areas.
In addition, the Mason City chapter is in need for volunteer bell ringers at their kettle stands in front of Walmart, both Hy-Vee East and West, Fleet Farm, Southbridge Mall and a couple of other locations in Cerro Gordo County. Major Geffory Crowell says that any kind of donation can go a long way this season.
"It's a hard year because of the virus and because of that, needs are higher than ever. Fundraising is lower than usual. It's hard to make ends meet, but we trust in the Lord and we keep working along."
If you want to donate your time by bell ringing, or if you're a business owner and would like to have a kettle set up at your business, contact the Salvation Army at 641-424-4031. In addition to cash and coins, you can donate through a QR code set up at each kettle (where you can pay through Google or Apple Pay), or online at salvationarmyusa.org.