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The Barnes County Salvation Army will begin its 2011 Bell Ringing Campaign on Nov. 25, with Joe Lunde and Dave Carlsrud as new kettle drive co-chairmen. Familiar red kettles and cheerful bell-ringers will appear at local stores on Black Friday to collect donations, and if you've ever wanted to be one of the smiling kettle drive faces, now is your chance to step up.
To reach this yearâ€™s goal of $22,000, volunteer bell ringers are needed to fill 624 shifts from Nov. 25 to Dec. 24. To volunteer for one-hour shift(s) at Marketplace Foods, Leevers and Pamida, please call Joe Lunde at 701-840-0908 or 845-1974. If you havenâ€™t â€śrung the bellâ€ť before you are â€śwelcomeâ€ť and those who have, â€śwelcome backâ€ť.
Lee Isensee, the Barnes County Salvation Army Chairman, said the kettle drive is starting from scratch in terms of volunteers, because the database of names and phone numbers of past ringers was lost.
"Ordinarily we'd be able to call people to get them to sign up, but we don't have the phone numbers anymore," said Isensee.
Last year the Barnes County Salvation Army provided approximately $20,000 in aid to over 200 families in the Barnes County area for utilities, transportation, rent, clothing, groceries and medical needs. During this springâ€™s flood the Barnes County Salvation Army furnished volunteers with food, snacks and drinks totaling nearly $15,000.
Chairman Isensee said, "People should know that the Salvation Army is not just about helping out in times of disaster, we're here all day long, every day for those in need."