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Every year, the Salvation Army is facing a worsening problem: finding community members willing to volunteer during the Red Kettle Campaign.

While Red Kettle coordinator Holly Becker said she understands that everyone’s lives are busy, she said that the need is high for people to help bring in donations for those in need locally. The money will help with needs such as heating and housing expenses during the winter.

The Red Kettle Campaign in the Winona area has collected about $19,000 annually in recent years, Becker said.

“It’s extremely easy,” Becker said. “You don’t have to sing or do anything like that. You can stand there and just be pleasant and thankful and ring the bell. I think some people just kind of get intimidated and are unsure if (volunteering is) a big process. And it’s not.”

Becker said it’s an opportunity for families to volunteer together. If children start young, she said it helps volunteering become a norm to them in the future. Eventually, when the children grow up and have their own children, they may volunteer with them, too.

Becker said she and her family have found great joy in being bell ringers and knowing that such a simple act for a few hours can really help others.

This year, the kettles are located in four locations in Winona: Hy-Vee, Midtown Foods, Fleet Farm and Walmart.

The Salvation Army is searching for volunteers for shifts from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Volunteers can range in how many hours they are willing to give, from simply an hour to many hours.

The annual campaign started in November and will continue through Christmas Eve.

People interested in being bell ringers can sign up with ease at www.registertoring.com or call Becker at 507-649-9219.

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