TEMPLE, Texas — The Salvation Army of Bell County had just 15 people to ring the bell outside local stores last year. It was tough, but the organization made it work.
One factor in their favor: Many stores had only one entrance and exit as they tried to control crowds during the pandemic.
"The businesses were short staffed. Places like Walmart only had one door open last year," Salvation Army Lt. David Beckham said. "Thankfully COVID isn't as much an issue this year as last."
Now, however, with more store entrances open across many partnering businesses, the Salvation Army needs a lot more people to cover all locations.
"We need at least 30 and I would be more comfortable if we had 40," Beckham said. "There are more doors to cover."
Volunteers can sign up at registertoring.com.
Beckham said those funds help support many Salvation Army Programs. Those include a housing program to help people find homes within 90 days, a rental and utility assistance program to prevent homelessness, a clothing program, and events to feed the homeless.
There are multiple ways the Salvation Amy can get funds, though Beckham said the Red Kettle Program may be most important.
"It's the greatest campaign because it engages every individual in the community," Beckham said. "Even those that don't know what we do still put money in the kettle so it engages people in ways no other funding program can do."
In addition to signing up online, people can register to ring the bell locally at the Salvation Army of Bell County at 419 W Avenue G, Temple, TX 76504.