(Seguin) -- Volunteers are needed to help ring in the 2017 Holiday Season. Sign-up is now available for this year's Salvation Army Kettle Campaign. Vicky Kleen, a volunteer with the local unit of the Salvation Army, says bell ringers are again needed to help fill the available slots for this year's campaign.
"At this point, we are trying to fill the schedule for bell ringers. This is the biggest source of income we have all year. So having somebody ring that bell at every door as many hours as possible is crucial to us being able to reach people in the community. We have two to three doors at Walmart that take two hours per shift for two people ideally. Then also, we're setting up at Walgreens in Seguin. There's a potential of four different kettles every day except Sunday from the day after Thanksgiving until Dec. 23, except on Sundays. That's why it's ending on the 23rd because the 24th, Christmas Eve is actually on a Sunday this year," said Kleen.
Kleen says volunteers can be individuals, families, businesses, co-workers, churches or any other type of group wishing to give of themselves this holiday season.
"So, we have all of those days that we need to fill. A lot of organizations have stepped up and taken on a whole day, but we still have those random spots where there's a half day here or a couple of hours here that need to be filled especially if there's you have somebody that has to go set it up and take it down. So anytime there's a gap, it even puts more pressure on the volunteers to finagle all of that. So if we can get it completely full, that gives us more availability to receive funds. So right now, we're trying to plug the holes. What we would love as we go (more) into November is to be able to say 'our calendar is full. We'll 'wait list' you.' That would be the best thing to happen," said Kleen.
Kleen says this year, the Salvation Army is doing more to help everyone claim their spot on the calendar. She says there are plenty of ways to sign-up.
"We're doing a little better this year -- at this point -- that we were last year. I really think that the kettle campaign team, there's a bunch of volunteers on that team they've done an incredible job to try and recruit and get the word out. Right now, we have a website link on 'Sign Up Genius' that people can actually go and look at the schedule and see what's still open -- that way, they're not having to call us and play phone tag or call the office and say 'well, this is when I'm available but what's open?' They can look at it now. They can click on sign up with your phone and email address and they know what spot they're at. Sign Up Genius should send a reminder to them a couple of days before they ring. So we just want to fill those spots. We have the link. It's a long link, but you can call the salvation army office to get the link or touch base with one of the board members or kettle campaign person or they can message me and I'll send it to them," said Kleen.
The cash or checks that are dropped into the red kettles each weekday and Saturday during the holiday season go directly back into supporting local families. Kleen says with an operation of mostly volunteers, the money is stretched out to help local residents with emergency funding throughout the years.
"Our office is open four days a week and it's manned mostly by volunteers. We have one office administrator that's a part time position. Everyone else is (a) volunteer. We actually are always looking for volunteers to help in that office capacity as well. We have people coming in that door constantly from the time they're open until the time they're closed. They're needing rent assistance, utility assistance, somebody who lost their job, there was a fire. When Hurricane Harvey, hit we had people who were relocated here and we had to help them with hotel rooms. We had to help them with some vouchers for clothes or food or gas. There are requirements, just like any other program to make sure we maximize (our dollars). It's not to where somebody can go week after week after week and keep drawing from the same thing. It's to give a hand up, not to keep giving to the same situation. We want to be able to reach as many people in critical situations as possible," said Kleen.
To secure a spot log onto signupgenius.com. Individuals may also call the local office of the Salvation Army at 830-401-4872 or email Kleen at Vahk5217@hotmail.com
. The Salvation Army is located at 1201 W. Court St. behind the Rock Church (formerly Mosaic) near Texas Lutheran University.