“I do need bell ringers,” said Myra Casey, Salvation Army service center coordinator in Tracy. “It hasn’t been good this year at all. A lot of the people said they would do it and they couldn’t do it.”
Each day, bell ringers man bright red kettles for two-hour shifts between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. inside Walmart, 3010 W. Grant Line Road, and between noon and 7 p.m. inside Raley’s supermarket, 2550 S. Tracy Blvd.
Casey said the number of volunteers has dwindled this year as Christmas approaches. She especially hopes to find people to work in the morning and late evening through the last day of fundraising, which ends at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 24.
Casey, nicknamed “Ma Kettle,” has been filling the gaps with her workers and her grandson, she said, but they can’t cover every shift.
“This morning, I had no one at Walmart,” she said in an interview Tuesday, Dec. 17.
Money collected in Salvation Army kettles at Christmastime helps Tracy residents by paying for children’s summer camp, back-to-school backpacks and supplies, food bank support and utility-bill assistance, Casey said.
“That’s the only way we get funds and the only way to do these programs,” she said. “Last year, 425 people were helped, and the demand has grown this year. It’s sad. I want to be able to help more.”
Anyone interested in bell ringing can call 815-0791.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.