red kettle

There are many volunteer opportunities leading up to the year-end holidays for adults and children in Brevard County.

As the holidays approach, people often want to know where they can volunteer to help others. Especially from Thanksgiving to Christmas, many organizations depend on volunteers to make it all possible to serve others.

The Salvation Army is among them. Whether national or local, whenever they see a need, the organization is on the scene.

Neal Hagglund, the chairman of the North/Central Brevard Salvation Army advisory board, said that The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign raises about 70% of the annual donations that The Salvation Army uses to fund local programs such as emergency assistance (rent, utilities, food), food pantry, summer camp for children, school backpack program, disaster response and other social services programs.

“While The

Salvation Army

has used paid

workers to ring the

bell at Red Kettles,

we prefer to use

volunteers as much

as possible.”

—Neal Hagglund

“While The Salvation Army has used paid workers to ring the bell at Red Kettles, we prefer to use volunteers as much as possible,” Hagglund said. “By using volunteers, the entire money raised within each Red Kettle goes to provide services. Also historically, we have found volunteers generally generate more than twice the revenue in the Red Kettle than a paid worker. We look to local churches, service clubs, other groups, as well as individuals to volunteer to ring a bell at the Red Kettles.”

As a Kiwanis Club member, Bill Rushing of Titusville has volunteered as a bell ringer since 1962. He plans to volunteer this year as well.

“The Salvation Army is a well-structured organization that does a tremendous amount of good,” Rushing said.

He encourages volunteerism. Without enough volunteers the Salvation Army has to hire people to fill the slots. Churches are rising to the cause, enlisting members to help with bellringing.

“If we ask, they almost always supply volunteers,” Rushing said.

“Folks are more likely to give if they see a familiar face at the kettle. When my wife and I ring the bells around town, we see many people we know. We wave, say hello and sometimes talk.”

This helps fill the kettle. Others, who volunteer with the Kiwanis Club or churches, agree.

According to Marshal Payne, the assistant manager at the SPCA of Brevard thrift store in Titusville, volunteers keep things running smoothly.

“Volunteers answer customers’ questions, help them find what they want and assist with sales,” he said.

They also lend muscle, carrying heavy items to customers vehicles.

Rushing encourages bell ringers to keep candy canes on hand to give to children with their parents’ approval.

“The child will remember that and the parent may tell them about The Salvation Army and all the good it does,” he said.

Rushing has heard of gold coins and other valuables being dropped in the red kettles.

“We never found a diamond ring or a winning lottery ticket in the kettle, but we know that every cent is helping someone,” he said.

The Salvation Army in North Central Brevard County is at 919 Peachtree St. in Cocoa.

For information about volunteering, call321-632-6060 or visit salvationarmyflorida.org/ncbrevard.

“We are very thankful for those within our community who generously support The Salvation Army during the Red Kettle Campaign as well as throughout the year,” Hagglund said. “We are also very thankful to all those who volunteer to ring a bell at a Red Kettle.”