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Boreal Community Media

Holiday volunteer shortage impacts Salvation Army’s food and Christmas gift distributions in Duluth

Nov 10, 2020 05:03AM ● By Editor

Photo: KBJR-TV

By Molly Wasche of KBJR-TV - November 9, 2020

COVID-19 concerns have not only created shortfalls for those in need of Salvation Army's services, but it's also hurting the need for volunteer registrations as well.

This means the Christmas distribution, gift wrapping, and the iconic Red Kettle bell-ringing initiative are being hit with a lack of help.

Pandemic concerns have reduced volunteer registrations and will likely mean significant shortfalls in funds raised through its iconic Red Kettle initiative.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in ways we never imagined—and that includes the Duluth Salvation Army,” said Captain Teri Ellison. “Increased demand for services and a reduction in volunteer numbers is creating enormous challenges for us.”

Red kettles start appearing in Duluth on Saturday, Nov. 14, and continues through December 24.

Bell-ringing volunteers are needed in order to meet this year's Duluth Salvation Army goal of $215,000.

Volunteer bell-ringers raise, on average, $59 per hour in their red kettle, which feeds 24 people with a daily lunch.

Over 2,300 two-hour shifts remain open.

“Bell-ringing is a safe and fun activity for individuals and families, and companies could consider manning a kettle for a day or perhaps longer,” said Ellison. “Every kettle is outfitted with contactless digital payment options, and a single shift is just a two-hour commitment.”

Groups, businesses, civic organizations, families, and churches are encouraged to participate.

Volunteer gift wrappers are needed between December 1–24 at Miller Hill Mall.

The Duluth Salvation Army is also asking for volunteers during Distribution Week from December 14-18.

For more information, click here.