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Even before Halloween, The Salvation Army is in need of holiday volunteers

We're weeks away from seeing holiday bell ringers, but now is the time to join their ranks.

ROSEVILLE, Minnesota — 'Tis the season for pumpkin spice and apple picking, but jingle bells and the Salvation Army red kettles aren't too far off. That's why recruitment is underway now for holiday volunteers.

The Salvation Army does many things, including distributing toys to thousands of families across the metro. 

"We have over 25,000 shifts to fill between November and December, and the need has never been greater," said Hailey Nelson, volunteer relations director for the Salvation Army. "By ringing the red bell, it may feel like you're just standing out in the cold, but really you are providing shelter to somebody, you're putting food in somebody's table, you're providing that sense of caring for somebody who has lost hope." 

The Red Kettle campaign raises a significant portion of the organization's $10 million holiday goal. These funds help Minnesotans with food, rent, utility assistance, even support for emergency disaster relief.

Judy Driver is a long-time volunteer who knows first-hand the difference this organization can make in someone's life. "About nine years ago, I was without work myself and found a friend at the Salvation Army in Burnsville. She encouraged me to come volunteer a little more frequently, and [it] kind of really got me back on my feet," she said. Besides allowing her to give back, Driver explained that volunteering helped build her self-esteem and courage to find a place where she could get back into the workforce. But, more importantly, Driver said, "I think it just reminds you that there's still a lot of good in the world."

Whether you're distributing toys, working at a food shelf, or ringing a bell, there's something for everyone who wants to volunteer. You can find information about registering to volunteer here.