The Salvation Army seeks volunteers for biggest fundraising initiative

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 6:47 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With the holiday season approaching, it’s the time for giving and volunteering and the Salvation Army is asking the community to do just that.

The organization needs volunteers for its biggest fundraiser known as the Red Kettle Campaign which kicks off at the end of the week.

Organizers hope to raise $150,000, which is why volunteers are crucial to the campaign.

The Salvation Army of Charleston serves Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties.

The organization needs volunteers to ring the bells at the Red Kettles this Christmas season.

The annual campaign is The Salvation Army’s primary fundraising initiative.

The donations fund programs and services for the community throughout the year, including food assistance programs, emergency financial assistance for utilities and rent, youth programs, and disaster response.

Volunteers will be tasked with showing up with a smile to their assigned location and thanking people when they give a donation.

The jingling of the bell lets people know you are there.

Then the Salvation Army will come to collect the red kettles.

Cpt. Mike Michels who is the corps officer for the Salvation Army of Charleston breaks down the huge role volunteers play in making programs like this successful.

“We can’t do what we do without people volunteering and there’s all different levels of course our donors who volunteer by giving us some money or by sponsoring a kettle or whatever they do, but also folks that come and wring our bills that come in and help out with our Angel Tree program. And year round”, Michels said. “We have volunteers that come and help us at our boys and girls club. With teaching the kids. Volunteers that help keep our infrastructure up. So, volunteers are a huge part of the Salvation Army. It literally takes an army of volunteers to make the Salvation Army work”.

So far organizers are helping over 800 families and 1,500 kids.

They are not only in need of red kettle volunteers but also for their angel tree program.

This program provides gifts and essentials from community members who have adopted an angel on Christmas.

Angle Tree volunteers will help organize and distribute gifts.

Michels shares a touching story of how donations made a difference for a father and his daughter.

“As we’re talking to him, we realized that she was probably special needs and that she was, even though she was probably a teenager, she was mentally probably more like a you know a child, and she was playing with a doll, and it was kind of ratty”, Michels said. “And so, one of my workers noticed and they put together a little bag for her out of the extra donations that we got in and gave it to the dad and said hey, this is for your daughter for Christmas. And just the look on his face. Because you know, here he is struggling he’s got her with him while he’s picking up toys for the rest of the kids. And where’s hers?”

Volunteer opportunities for the Red Kettle start Friday.

The end date is Dec. 23.

Volunteer days are Mondays through Saturdays.

Volunteer opportunities for the Angel Tree start Nov. 27-Dec. 8, Dec. 11-19.

The organization has been approved by most Walmart locations and the Hobby Lobby stores in Mount Pleasant and Rivers Avenue for the Red Kettle Campaign.

If you are interested in volunteering for either program visit the Virtual Red Kettle and Angel Tree Volunteers to register.