It’s a common sight and sound you’re fronted with at a mall at Christmas — people standing at a Salvation Army donation stand ringing bells.
But those volunteers who work the annual Kettle Campaign are becoming harder to find.
“We do hire people to help us out for key shifts in various locations,” said Pam Goodyear with the Salvation Army, adding the paid workers are brought in for $10.50 an hour when volunteers aren't available. “We end up getting far more out of it than we put in. What we also look at is in that small salary we pay to that person, it's someone unemployed or under, and gives them some funds to help them at Christmas as well.
Despite the shortage of workers, many keep volunteering year after year like Ken Thwaites.
“Maybe when I sit down for Christmas dinner, some other people are too because of the time I spend here,” Thwaites said.
The kettle campaign runs until Christmas eve and hopes to raise $ 1 million to help needy families.