While the Christmas holiday is accompanied by a number of familiar sights and sounds in the Crossroads area — Christmas trees, festive lighting, candy canes and nativity scenes — it simply wouldn't be the same without the tolling bells and red kettles of the Salvation Army.
And while the presence of the charity's bell ringers near local merchants and stores is certainly a familiar one, officials with the Salvation Army say they are trying to work through a severe shortage of volunteers to man the kettles, one of the organization's principal sources of donations during the Christmas holiday.
According to Salvation Army Capt. Ed Cheshire, the familiar kettles represent much more than just a place for shoppers to toss their spare change.
“The kettles are a source of hope during the holidays,” Cheshire said. “They are a reminder to people that while we may not be in the best economic times in this country and state, there is hope for those who are struggling to get by.”