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Red Kettle bell ringers needed

With the holidays upon us, the Salvation Army Red Kettles should be ringing throughout St. Croix County. But with a serious shortage of volunteer ringers, some of those kettle sites are silent, meaning this yearʼs campaign could come up short.

Fundraising manager for the campaign Angela Moulton said volunteers are still needed for several of the sights around St. Croix County. The signup process is a bit different than in years past. The Salvation Army has moved to a new system for online signups. This year, volunteers need to go to www.SAgraceplace.org to sign up for their bell-ringing shift. Once on the website, volunteers need to click "sign up to ring bells" and then fill in an application and select the date, time and location they want to ring. If anyone would like help signing up, contact the staff at Grace Place at 715-246-1222.

"Due to the increase in demand for our services, it is critical this year that folks ring the bell or send a donation. The population at our shelter Grace Place is at an all time high. We are seeing the number of homeless families needing shelter come through our doors at an alarming rate," Moulton said. "I would stress that bell-ringing is the quickest way to help right now. Donations are needed and without bell ringers, we do not have the donations coming in." If people can't ring, they can send donations directly to Grace Place, 505 W. Eighth St., New Richmond.

The Red Kettle Campaign is the most important fundraiser of the year for the Salvation Army programs in St. Croix County including Grace Place, a shelter for homeless individuals and families. It is the No. 1 way funds are raised for the shelter and to help people in need of emergency assistance across the county. The dollars raised in the campaign stay local to help local people. Being a bell-ringer for the Red Kettle Campaign is the easiest way to be a part of that effort. Bell-ringing shifts are two hours. Ringers can volunteer individually or with friends or part of a group. Moulton said when it comes to bell-ringing, "the more the merrier." There are several places to volunteer around the county, including: in Hudson — County Market, Family Fresh and Wal-Mart; in New Richmond — Wal-Mart and Family Fresh; in Baldwin — Nilssens; and in Somerset — Econofoods. The Red Kettle Campaign runs through Dec. 30.

"Consider giving your time to those in need," Moulton said. "Two hours really does change a personʼs life and can truly impact families in need in our neighborhoods." If you would like more information on how the Salvation Army is working in your community, visit them on Facebook at St. Croix County Salvation Army, log onto: www.sagraceplace.org, or call the shelter at 715-485-1221.

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