If you've been out on the town lately, you've probably seen and heard them. Salvation Army bell ringers are asking for your help this holiday season.
"The last 3 days we've been lagging behind about $10,000 from where we we're this time last year," Captain Jamie Pennington with the Salvation Army said.
Those are the kind of words Pennington doesn't like to say. As his Salvation Army bell ringers gear up, Pennington says they're behind on their holiday goal and he's having trouble finding volunteers.
But he says there's more than one way to help out.
"We say 'Time, talent and treasure.' So, maybe you don't have as much treasure you can put in the kettles, but maybe you have the time to put 2 hours in manning a kettle for us. That makes a tremendous difference as well," Pennington said.
Out on the streets, we find Leonard Kyles.
"I've seen some good days and some slow days, a little bit of both," Kyles said.
Kyles says the economy plays a big role, people are working, but not making enough money. That poses a tough problem.
Captain Pennington says the group is dealing with a bit of a double–edged sword. Not only are donations down from this time last year, but they're also seeing more people come to the Salvation Army asking for help.
The money that goes into the red kettles makes a big difference.
"We use this money to provide food and toys for the families that come to us for Christmas assistance," Pennington said. "But also, this is half of my budget for the entire year. So, it's what keeps our doors open for the whole year."
Through it all, Pennington remains confident the community will step up. The bell ringers will be at more than 30 locations across town from now until Christmas. Pennington hopes to see a big a push leading up to then.
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