With the holiday shopping season shortened a full week because Nov. 1 happened to fall on a Friday this year and a shortage of bell ringers available to staff the familiar red kettles occupying strategic locations throughout the greater Meadville area, the Salvation Army Corps of Meadville has issued an urgent plea for volunteers.
“We need help in West Mead, Vernon and the city,” Volunteer Kettle Coordinator Howard Crow told the Tribune. “There are traditionally 720 four-hour slots available.” he added. “We need help!”
“We lost a week of kettles,” Major Robin Holmes said, joining in the plea. “Instead of the typical six weeks, we’ve only got five. Our $65,000 goal is scary — we’ve already started $10,000 behind last year because of that week.”
Holmes and Crow agree that they only way they’ll make the goal is for every kettle to be staffed during every possible hour.
The organization is also looking for donations of brand-new toys in their original packaging. “Our need is up this year,” Holmes said.
To volunteer, call the Salvation Army Corps Community Center in Meadville at 724-3738. Toys can be dropped off at the center, 1087 Park Ave.