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Bell ringers for Salvation Army in high demand for holiday season

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GREENVILLE, Pitt County - It's a cold job, but someone has to do it. And for many years, they have. But now, the Salvation Army needs your help.

For the past five years, Carol Clarke has done her part. Six days a week, two shifts a day with two bells in her hands.

"So I made this my signature. That's why I carry two, doesn't it sound good?" Clarke said.

Clarke said it's not a glamorous job and there's nothing she'd rather do than put a smile on shoppers' faces. That's especially true for children, who she calls her bell ringers in training.

"I start them young I'm telling you," Clarke said. "I will put this bell in a baby's hand."

Clarke encourages people of all ages to volunteer their time. Most of the funds the Salvation Army uses comes from shoppers who donate money in the red kettles that accompany the bell ringers outside their favorite stores. Their goal this year is to raise $200,000 to help with programs throughout the year but they are currently short-staffed on ringers.

"There are times when people get sick or when the weather's bad, or even when with all of our spots, we can't fill all the spots," said Major Ken Morris with the Greenville Salvation Army. "I've looked at the charts each day and there have been a few holes even so far. And as we look through the rest of the season, there are still holes that we need to fill."

So far, bell ringers have raised $50,000 for this year's programs. Now they need your help to raise even more. The best part about volunteering is there's no obligation and anyone of any age can donate their time.

To learn how you can help, call Stephanie Mackenzie, the human resources director and volunteer coordinator for the Greenville Salvation Army, at (252) 756-3388 ext. 206.

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