(Seguin) -- The Salvation Army is in a bit of a holiday pickle and hopes that the Seguin community can come out and show its true Christmas spirit during its annual Kettle Campaign. Volunteers with the local non-profit organization say they have no one signed up to ring the bell two days before Christmas.
Board member Anita Hoff says the group is shocked to see the calendar empty on that day.
"I'm not real sure what happened. It was a miscommunication or something, but Dec. 23rd, two days before Christmas is a very very important prominent day for us. You know it gets busier the closer you get towards Christmas. We have no one (volunteer) on Dec. 23rd, not at a single entrance at Wal-Mart or anything. It is completely open and it is devastating at this point. We're at a loss at who we can turn to. I'm kind of pleading (to the public) if anybody knows anybody, if anybody has any organization or churches or anything that could step up. That would be a tremendous, tremendous help for us," said Hoff.
She says the void can be filled during any two hour shift. She says it can be filled by a couple of friends, a large family, select sporting groups or by any individual just wishing to make a difference.
"It's fun. You get to talk to people, see people you know and you haven't seen in a long time coming in and out of Walmart. The closer, like I said to Christmas, it's going to be tremendous. Yet families are great. We have a lot of families that help us. Actually, families that help us year after year, we call the families to fill in a slot for us -- any organization, any church and I know a lot of people will be off work those few days before Christmas," said Hoff.
The 2015 Kettle Campaign Season officially gets underway the day after Thanksgiving which is Friday, Nov. 27. The red kettle will be outside the Seguin Walmart store Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. A second location has also been added to this year's holiday schedule. CVS Pharmacy has decided to welcome bell ringers on most Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Hoff says the Seguin Salvation Army continues to play a vital role in the local community helping families in time of emergencies. She says assistance is provided to families at least once per year.
"Off of our budget, which we exist off every year -- 50 percent of it comes from what we get off of the Kettle Campaign -- standing outside of Walmart and this year, CVS between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Fifty percent of what we exist off every year -- then we also have other churches, organizations (and) individuals. Even though they give us money, 50 percent of it comes from our Kettle Campaign. All this money goes to help individuals. You would be surprised or blown away -- like I was when I first started there of how many people in our community, in our area need help, can't pay electric bills, don't know where they're going to lay down their head at night, no food on the table and it can be an emergency. The economy is not that great, somebody just lost their job and so many people exist from paycheck to paycheck. If one little thing happens, it just throws a wrench in the whole thing," said Hoff.
Local Salvation Army board members take part in the campaign by ringing bells near the kettle on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Those wishing to ring the bell on Wednesday, Dec. 23 or on any other day are asked to contact the Seguin Salvation Army office at 830-401-4872. They may also stop by the office now located at 1201 W. Court St.