Red Kettle Campaign needs your help

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Posted Wednesday, December 4, 2013 --- 5:43 p.m.

The Salvation Army needs your help- to help those in need. With nearly 80 Red Kettle locations across Dane County, the organization is having a hard time getting bell ringers to fill the slots. With a later Thanksgiving this year, there's less time to collect money.

From donating time ringing bells, or just cleaning out your closet, some of the most simple acts can really go a long way.

"Because we rely so heavily on volunteers we have many many shifts that go unfilled."

Chris Ziemba with the Salvation Army says most bell ringers end up having a lot of fun. It just takes the courage to sign up, he says this year the volunteer numbers are low.

"People say 'I don't have a lot of money to give, I might not be able to give a lot this holiday season' but what they can give is their time."

JD Harwell volunteered to ring bells today with his wife and daughter.

"We're all way too busy and we go through our day to day lives without really thinking about others."

He says it's already a tradition, one he hopes his 2-year-old daughter will soon realize the importance of.

"You hear the bell ringing you're reminded it's Christmas time and it's a time to give to others."

But if standing and spreading cheer isn't your cup of hot coco, there are still other things you can do this holiday season to help others. Some shelves are completely empty at the Salvation Army food pantry, they're especially low on personal items. Or, Ziemba says you can simply clean out your closet, and bring what you don't need to a donation center.

"When those things are given to us they either go directly to a person to help or are sold in our thrift store to get more money for programs."

Ziemba says anything you can do, no matter how small will help make someone's holiday a little bit happier.

"We're looking for these next few weeks to be strong."

Ziemba says the food pantry gets very busy this time of year. He says getting food from the pantry can free up some extra cash so that families can get their children Christmas presents.

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