BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — It’s a sound you hear every holiday season. Every year, bell ringers with the Salvation Army stand in front of stores to raise money for people in need. The bell ringing season began November 1, 2021, but they are still desperately searching for bell ringers, both paid and volunteer.
The Bell Coordinator for the Beckley Salvation Army, Jerry Lester, said it was difficult to find people to ring bells in recent years, despite an ongoing labor shortage and this year, the need in the community is greater than normal.
“With COVID that hit and now with people, so many people are out of jobs, the demand, the need is even greater this year,” Lester said.
Lesli Jackson is in her fifth year working for The Salvation Army. She said she returns to give back to her community because of what the organization did for her family.
“They used to help my mom out. My mom had nine kids, and they used to help out. They would give us toys,” Jackson said.
The Salvation Army will start asking for donations at bigger locations November 20, 2021.
So far this year, they only have seven people. Lester said the money raised by bell ringers goes directly into the hands of people who need it for rent, food and other essentials.
“I believe the community wants us there, they have shown this,” Lester said. “I am just asking and praying that people will come in from all different groups.”
If you are interested in applying to be a bell ringer, you can visit the Salvation Army Office on South Fayette Street in Beckley.