Salvation Army Needs Bell Ringers

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- The Salvation Army raises forty percent of their annual budget in the next six weeks, but this year they're off to a sluggish start with fewer than half the people they need to ring bells.
"People just see the sign, and hear the bell," said and Jimmy Mercer, a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, says people know what to do.

This year the Odessa branch hopes to raise $75 thousand dollars. The money will pay for anything from natural disaster support to rent or electric bills for people in need, and every night of the year the Salvation Army serves a hot meal to anyone who needs it.

"We have 18 spots and today was the first day of bell ringing, and we ran seven spots, so we need eleven more workers right away," said Sgt. Jay Ward, the Corps Administrator for the Salvation Army, he says if they can't make their budget they may be forced to cut services.

"We need the money desperately just too maintain the things that we always do," said Sgt. Ward, "We've never started with half of the bell ringers. I would consider this a crisis, we need folks right away."

Not all bell ringers are volunteers, many get paid. This year to help get people to join the ranks they've raised the pay from $6 dollars and hour to $8 dollars an hour.