QUINCY, IL (WGEM) - The Quincy area Salvation Army is gearing up for the holidays early and they are looking for bell ringers to help with its annual fundraiser.
Donations are especially important this year with COVID-19 impacting a lot of families.
This year, the Salvation Army will have their donation bins out early for people to drop their donations but there will also be changes to keep the bell ringers and donors safe.
One of those changes is that large groups like families won’t be able to ring together.
The organization is limiting volunteers to two bell ringers at a time to ensure social distancing, but they’re encouraging larger groups to work in shifts if they all still want to help.
Officials are also giving people more options for how they give.
“If somebody wants to donate, but doesn’t feel comfortable donating in the red kettle, we also have opportunity for people to donate through a google or apple bump pay right at the kettle as well, so right with their phones. So that might be another option people have, so they feel safe donating and being able to share," said Captain Michael Sjogren, Salvation Army Quincy Area Coordinator.
Officials with the salvation army say they will be sanitizing donation bins and bell ringers will social distance and wear protective gear.
Now this is all important because the holiday fundraisers are more important now because more people need help during this pandemic.
The bell ringing campaign helps fund the organization’s local services like the food pantry, utility assistance and emergency shelter.
“Those needs are actually continuing to grow because of the COVID-19 pandemic that we’re all experiencing, " Sjogren said. "So we’re seeing new needs as well. People who may not have had to come to the salvation army before have had to ask for help.”
Last year, the bell ringing campaign brought in about $100,000 for the Quincy Area Salvation Army.
They’ve set the same goal for themselves this year, but they are hoping to out-do that goal to keep up with the increased need they’ve seen in the community.
If you’re interested in donation or becoming a bell ringer this holiday season, you can find more information at salvationarmyquincy.org.