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Bell ringers needed in last days of red kettle campaign

Bell Ringing in Appleton on December 21, 2017 (WLUK/Mike Moon)

APPLETON (WLUK) -- By Saturday night the bells of the Salvation Army's red kettles will go silent. That's when the Christmas campaign comes to an end.

That's all around the area, ut before they do, local chapters say they still need help drumming up last minute donations.

If you're looking to put money in a red kettle, Friday that donation will go further in the Fox Cities. It's the Salvation Army's largest match day.

"The Community Foundation will be matching dollar-for-dollar up to $40,000 in the kettles in the Fox Cities," explained Robb Waugus the development director for Salvation Army Fox Cities.

"Our donors that pitched in to try and provide this match are really hoping to spark a little extra giving spirit," added Tammy Williams the vice president of communications and marketing for the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region

There is a concern, however, the Salvation Army is in need of bell ringers. It only has about half the shifts covered.

"We need about 200 people to come out to be at the kettles to help us ring bells. We'll be ringing from eight in the morning until nine in the evening," Waugus told FOX 11 News.

The Salvation Army told us kettles with ringers next to them are much more likely to bring in donations than the unmanned kettles.

"A kettle without a ringer is, generally, an empty kettle," said Nick Meisner the communications director for the Salvation Army of Greater Green Bay.

Lack of bell ringers isn't just a concern in the Fox Cities or for Friday. The issue is the same in other areas like Green Bay.

"Varies by day, weekends tend to be a little bit better covered than weekdays, but in a general sense, yeah, we're right around that 50%," Meisner explained.

The red kettle campaign ends Saturday night, but there's still time to help.

You can sign up online or by phone to fill a one or two hour shift.

"All you have to do is smile and ring the bell and wish people a Merry Christmas!" exclaimed Waugus.

Organizers told us a little bit of your time can make a big difference.

"Brings in much-needed funding for year 'round basic needs programming," said Meisner.

"You get to see your neighbors, you get to see the miracle of Christmas: people giving and giving of their time and their gifts to help make it a bright Christmas for families in need," added Waugus.

There is also a $10,000 match for red kettles in Green Bay Saturday through WPS.

You can sign up to ring bells in the Fox Cities at the local Salvation Army website here. You can learn more about bell ringing in the Green Bay area here.

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