MASON CITY, Iowa - The crisp sharp 'ding dong' of bells means one thing during the holiday season: Salvation Army bell ringers.
But those ringing bells aren't coaxing enough shoppers to donate this year.
The Salvation Army is finding itself well below its seasonal target goals in some areas around the country, and Mason City is no exception. Currently, this year's Red Kettle Campaign has so far $72,592, and they're needing to raise $95,000 altogether by Christmas. Last year, the entire Campaign received $91,580 in donations, falling short of their goal of $100,000.
If you've ever made a holiday season stop at the Shopko in Mason City, you've probably walked by Charles Scifert. The longtime volunteer has been bell ringing for nearly 60 years, and is passionate about helping out during the holiday season. He's noticed a slight dip in donations this year, despite a lot of holiday shoppers.
"People have to spend more for groceries nowadays and they got higher bills...during the holidays. And just taking care of a home is expensive too. You just can't give everything to charity, and there's other charities that need help too."
At Fareway in Mason City, John and Robin Bratvold are ringing bells for donations. Robin has noticed that some are giving digitally.
"We've had a couple people mention that they just don't carry cash. So they don't have cash to donate. I know there's a sign, a site to go to so you can donate electronically."
The Salvation Army is dedicated to reach their goal this year, and is asking for more volunteers to help out. If interested, call 641-424-4031 or 641-530-7760.