The Thanksgiving and holiday season is the busiest time of the year for the Salvation Army. They're always in need of volunteers to help with events like the community Thanksgiving dinner, Angel Trees and, of course, the bell ringing campaign.
If you think you're just too busy this holiday season to help out, bell ringers can sign up in two-hour increments, so it's not too much of a time commitment. Even if you don't have that much time, a little bit of time can go a long way.
"In Ottumwa, we have this wonderful opportunity where the kettles are locked down to the stand, they're there all day long," said Captain Ruth Gibbons of the Ottumwa Salvation Army. "So while you're waiting for somebody that might be shopping or you've got a few minutes after you've bought your groceries or whatever you'd like to do, just grab that bell and start ringing. The manned kettles always do better, and as I said, it is a wonderful opportunity to be blessed, as well as bless others."
There are five kettle locations in Ottumwa and you can sign up to ring a bell by clicking here or calling the Ottumwa Salvation Army at 641-682-7597.
The Salvation Army also hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner, which is open to the community from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Captain Ruth said they have plenty of volunteers to serve and deliver meals this year, but they're still looking for donations of pies or desserts to serve.
In addition, the Salvation Army has several Angel Trees around town during the holiday season, and hosts a toy shop later in December for families in need. If you would like to volunteer to help with either of those projects, call the Salvation Army at the number above.