Ring in Christmas cheer with the iconic red kettle

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) - If you're looking to spread a little Christmas cheer these next two weeks - one organization needs your help.

You can participate in one of the most iconic parts of the holiday season by volunteering as a Salvation Army bell ringer!

Captain Andy Seiler with the Salvation Army said they need individuals and even groups to help raise money that benefits the Salvation Army for the entire year.

Their goal is to raise $285,000 this holiday season. He said most of the donations come as dollar bills and change.

"People talk about how, the credit cards they take, they don't carry cash as much anymore but we don't actually find that on our end," Seiler said.

In fact, he said they expect to raise more than $50,000 in change alone.

"That's an amazing number," he said. "That just tells you that everyone likes to give in one way or another and even if it's just a little change here or there, it's great for the people in this community."

Volunteers are often positioned outside of Walmart and Kroger stores.
Seiler said a good volunteer group can often raise twice as much as a solo bell ringer.

"It's actually the largest fundraiser in the United States by the number of people that give, if you think about it like that," Seiler said. "So even when you put in a quarter every day it might not feel like much that one time but when you think about how much you give over the course of the whole Christmas season and how many people that give, it adds up so quickly."

If you're interested in volunteering, you can contact Roanoke's Salvation Army at (540) 343-5335.