From now through Christmas Eve, local volunteers will be again be ringing the bell and manning the familiar Salvation Army red kettle.
While the project is well underway, Pilot Mountain volunteer coordinator Paula Stanley notes that plenty of volunteer opportunities remain for anyone who wishes to join in and help spread Christmas cheer.
This will be the fifth year for the project in Pilot Mountain, with the kettle again stationed in front of Just Save on Key Street in Pilot Mountain.
Stanley, a local resident whose husband, Randy, serves on the Salvation Army board, has been scheduling volunteers in two-hour increments from 10 a.m. through 8 p.m. on Wednesday-Saturday.
But, she is quick to add, those hours will hopefully increase with Christmas approaching. Monday and Tuesday volunteer hours are available and early morning hours can be worked out if requested. The project takes all Sundays off from collection.
Bell ringing opportunities remain for individuals and teams of two. Anyone wishing to volunteer may schedule a time by contacting Stanley at 399-2760.
Collection began this year on the day before Thanksgiving and will continue through Christmas Eve.
“We could certainly use some more volunteers,” she said, “Last year our kettle was second in the county in donations collected. We’d love to finish first this year.”
Boy Scouts from Pilot Mountain Troop 545 have traditionally provided a strong volunteer base for the project and that is again proving to be the case this year. Assistant Scoutmaster Chet
Jessup has worked to coordinate schedules for volunteer scouts.
“The time they’ve volunteered has carried us,” Stanley said. “They’ve done a great job.”
According to Stanley, other volunteer time has come from teens looking to record time for projects. Some parents have also been eager to schedule time for themselves and their younger children, seeking to use the project as a way of exposing youngsters to joy and value of giving back and of community service.
“I think we’ve done well here,” Stanley explained, “because Pilot Mountain is a wonderful, caring community. The people here respond when they see a need. They realize how blessed we all are and they want to give back. You see a lot of caring hearts here.”