The north country is starting to see red kettles to collect money for Salvation Army programs, but volunteers are needed to oversee the stands.
At the Massena Salvation Army center, Lt. Cynthia Crowsen said she hopes to collect $66,000 through the red kettle campaign.
We believe our community can support that, she said. Whatevers donated stays local and it supports everyone in need.
Red kettle stands will be at the Massena Walmart, Price Chopper and St. Lawrence Centre mall from Sunday to Dec. 24.
While funds also go to year-round programming for the Massena Salvation Army, Lt. Crowsen said, the agency is busy trying to finish a construction project to better serve the community.
We are in the process of building a permanent location, she said. Were currently renting space and getting architectural plans now for a center and church on Victory Road in Massena. We own the land still. The building had several structural issues before and had to be demolished.
To make sure there are enough funds for Salvation Army programs and services in Massena, its important for the agency to have volunteers at kettles, Lt. Crowsen said. The fewer paid bell ringers, the more money can go back to the agencys neediest clients.
In Ogdensburg, Salvation Army Capt. Timothy A. Shaffer agreed.
We ask people to do four-hour shifts, he said. We do have to pay kettle workers, but I want to get as much back in the community as I can and that means volunteers are important to us.
Red kettles are set up in the Ogdensburg area at Peebles, Save-a-Lot, Walgreens, Kinney Drugs and Price Chopper. Kettles will be set up at Walmart beginning Nov. 23.
Capt. Shaffer said more people are seeking aid from the Salvation Army, because although jobs are being created, its not at the pace people want done. The agency even ran out of food for its pantry in August, when the need was greatest, and about 100 people already have applied for the agencys Christmas assistance program.
Were working on a soup kitchen to offset stress on the food pantry, he said. Were finishing up construction and then waiting to get it certified, and Im thinking itll start in January.
Capt. Shaffer said his goal is to raise $45,000.
Volunteer bell ringers are being sought for shifts Mondays to Saturdays until Dec. 24 for all Salvation Army organizations. People or community organizations interested in volunteering should call Lts. Hough at 782-4470, Capt. Shaffer at 393-3351 or Lt. Crowsen at 769-5154.