Salvation Army facing bell ringer shortage, searching for volunteers

The organization is short handed and short on donations because of it.
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 5:18 PM CST
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LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - A popular tradition during the holiday season is the ringing of the Salvation Army bells. However this year, you may not hear as many of them as the organization is experiencing a shortage of bell ringers.

Despite the shortage, there are people like Clifton Nicholson, who has been a bell ringer in Laurel for 8 years.

“Really it’s my 10th year ringing bells. I rung the bell in New Orleans one year, and I rung bells in Meridian, Ms. another year. So it’s a total of 10 years,” says Nicholson.

Even though Nicholson has been consistent, others have not. According to Maj. Raymond Pruitt, the Salvation Army is shorthanded on bell ringers this year.

“We haven’t had that many staff ringers this year and that’s one of the problems. We’re steadily trying to recruit volunteers because volunteers make a huge difference,” says Pruitt.

The problem is causing a setback on their donations.

“We’re about $10,000 behind. We were at this same point last year, and our community-wide goal is $100,000. And we’re working really hard to get to that mark,” says Pruitt.

Nicholson says if more people did it, they’d feel the same way he does.

“I know that I can help other people by ringing this bell. It’s just great, it brings so much joy. Come on down, come on down. I could use you right here, right now,” says Nicholson.

If you’d like to volunteer, you can call the Laurel Salvation Army office at (601) 428-4232.

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