Salvation Army bell ringers are a common sight during the Christmas Holiday season. This year, though ,the red kettles and the bells are less common in the Eastern Sierra than usual.
Rob Lawler, Lieutenant with the local Salvation Army, says that this year there is a shortage of bell ringers and that they are looking for more volunteers in Mammoth Lakes and the Owens Valley.
The bell ringing tradition started in New York in 1891, when a Salvation Army Captain needed to raise money to put on a Christmas dinner. Lawler says that in the Eastern Sierra the Salvation Army uses the money for food boxes and toys for children.
Lawler says that the local Salvation Army helps about 1000-1200 people a month with food and necessities. He isnt sure why the Salvation Army is short of volunteers this year, but Lawler explained that they are normally a couple of thousand dollars ahead by this time of year.
Shifts as a bell ringer can run from two hours to all day, if a volunteer would like. He encourages people to give bell ringing a try.
If youd like to help out by volunteering to be a bell ringer, Lawler says to call 872-2124. You can also talk to any bell ringer. Lawler says that they should have a business card to steer you in the right direction. He also wanted to remind people that donations made locally stay local.