So many people rely on Duluth's Salvation Army every year. The need has been particularly greater this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact they have seen a 155% increase of the number of people served since March. However concerns about COVID-19 has seen less volunteers signing up for this Holiday Season.

According to a press release from the Duluth Salvation Army, three programs are being hit hard by this shortfall. Christmas distrubtion, gift wrapping, and Red Kettle Bell-ringing programs are significantly short of volunteers this year. Captain Teri Ellison says that the increased demand for services and the shortage in volunteers is creating an enormous challenge for the organization.

The iconic red kettle bell ringing begins this Saturday in The Northland. They have a hefty goal of raising $215,000 this year. They say they need more volunteers to reach their goal as part of their Rescue Christmas initiative.

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To give you an idea of how short they are, they have a total of 2,753 two hour shifts for ringing bells. At this time they just over 500 two hour shifts filled. The Duluth Salvation army says ringing bells is a safe and fun activity. They will have digital contactless payment options at every kettle.

They also need volunteers for gift wrapping presents for donations. That runs from December 1 - 24 at the Miller Hill Mall. They also need volunteers for the distribution week, December 14-18. Volunteers will distribute food and toys between 9am and 4pm. They will have appropriate safety protocols in place.

Companies, families, and organizations are all encourage to sign up to volunteer. This year there is a tremendous demand on the Salvation Army. Let's help them by volunteering our time.