Martinsville, VA - Several bell ringers are everywhere collecting money for the needy, but the Martinsville-Henry County Salvation Army needs help finding more volunteer bell ringers.
"This money can mean life or death to be honest. Being out in the cold, being out in snow, families who have no food. Life and death," said Lt. Lisa Knotts, a Salvation Army Corp officer.
Every dollar and cent that goes in the red bucket will be passed along to someone in need. But this year, the Martinsville-Henry County Salvation Army has been forced to spend some of the cash on bell ringers. They need 200 to 300 volunteers for the season and so far, only 40 have signed-up.
"Every volunteer that we get out there, that saves on us so we can spend that money towards children," said Knotts.
The number is up from last year, when only 15 people volunteered. But still, they say they need the Christmas spirit to last all year.
"Our Christmas season just isn't for Christmas, it's for the whole year round so we can help people with rent and utilities and mortgages and help throughout the year," said Knotts.
"It helps people that need help and that's why it's rewarding. That's what the holiday spirit is about," said volunteer bell ringer, Lee Corbin.
Lee Corbin and his wife have been bell ringing for four years for free. And they say it's worth it.
"It makes me feel good. Makes me feel like I've done something for my community," said volunteer bell ringer, Frances Corbin.
The Salvation Army looks at the paid bell ringers in a positive light.
"I look at it, it's giving someone a job who can now support their family. I look at it both ways, it's shedding them a little hope for a few weeks so they are able to provide Christmas to their family," said Knotts.
Danville and Lynchburg's Salvation Army are also in need of more volunteers.
If you want to help in Martinsville call (276) 638-7259. If you want to help in Danville call (434 )792-3963. If you want to help in Lynchburg, call (434) 845-5939.