Salvation Army Bell Ringers Gearing Up for Holiday Season

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The iconic Salvation Army Red Kettles are popping up all over the metro to ring in the holiday season.

Bell ringers start their work on Friday at 8:00 a.m.

Major Jim Beardsley said they expect to have about 5,000 volunteers throughout the season.

“We are looking to fill 20,000 hours of volunteer time.

Beardsley said they are hoping to raise $350,000 from the red kettles.

“We are looking for $950,000 total. That includes the money from the red kettles and the mailings and online. We are trying to accomplish this in 31 days,” Beardsley said.

Beardsley added, even if you don’t have much to give, the dimes and nickels matter.

“It really isn’t the big gifts that go into these red kettles. It’s the nickels and dimes. The best part that I like is when you give a dime or quarter to a child and say ‘Hey go put that in there,’ they give and they have this smile on their face. They think they might be getting a gumball when they do this, but they are learning at a young age to give,” Beardsley said.

To sign up to be a bell ringer you can put your name down on open slots on the website or call in to reserve your location and time.

“Make sure you sign up soon. A lot of the good locations fill up quickly. Easiest thing is to go online and sign up early for the location you want. It’s a lot of fun when you get a group together and volunteer for two hours,” Beardsley said.

Volunteers are already busy putting up the red kettle stands and signs.

Beardsley said even if you don’t give every time you see a red kettle, the volunteers love to talk during their shift.

“Bell ringing shifts can be so boring if you don’t talk to anyone. So even if you don’t give everytime, say 'hi'. The volunteers love to talk to people,” Beardsley said.

Head over to to find all the Des Moines locations to sign up for.

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