Salvation Army needs volunteer bell ringers

Salvation Army bell ringers are a ubiquitous part of holiday shopping, particularly around major shopping centers.

This year, Clark County is seeking more volunteers to ring bells and stand by the collection pots as the need for the organization’s help is expected to grow.

Shannon Cox, chairman of the Clark County Salvation Army chapter, said the number of volunteers is well below where it should be.

“We’ve probably got 20 to 25,” Cox said. “We really need 100. We lost all our school clubs this year, so we have to fill that void.”

Ordinarily, the Salvation Army’s volunteers begin ringing bells the weekend after Thanksgiving, he said. This year, they started a week early. So far, the number of people physically shopping in stores seems to be lower as well.

“We could see that with our ringers this past weekend,” he said. “It seemed like foot traffic was down significantly.”

With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and evolving health restrictions and guidelines, more people are doing their shopping online or using other options to avoid going into stores.

The pandemic, though, has created more people who will likely need help from the Salvation Army and other organizations, Cox said.

“We anticipate our requests for help will go up significantly,” he said.

This year, volunteers will have to wear masks and will not be allowed to touch the money, Cox said. The Salvation Army also added options to pay through Apple and Google.

The guidelines have extended to counting the money afterward, he said.

Cox said the Salvation Army will work around volunteers’ schedules for when and how often they can ring the bell. They will try to accommodate location requests as much as possible, he said.

“We work around what the person wants to work,” he said. “We’ll do whatever they want to do.”

For more information or to volunteer, call or text Cox at 859-437-0135 or email

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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