Salvation Army Bell Ringers continue in Murfreesboro and beyond

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Cook said Saturday could be big for them with lots of local organizations volunteering to ring bells for them.

They also have the Angel Tree program, which makes sure every child gets a Christmas present.

The Salvation Army helps the community in a variety of ways. "This provides shelter, food, and other basic needs to individuals and families in need". That amount also lags behind the 2016 fundraiser, falling about $6,000 short of where the campaign was at this time past year, she said.

Joseph Stricker, aka the dancing bell ringer, regularly jams to music while ringing the bell for The Salvation Army in front of Sam's Club in Kochville Township. He said they have raised $77,000 since the November 6 kickoff. Bell ringers consist of a mix of paid, temporary employees and volunteers dedicated to serving their community.

That provisional total is 49 percent of the way toward The Salvation Army's goal of $515,000.

"We hope that the community will give what they can when they can", Bubon said.

Lt. Bernabe said, "It has to be someone who has a heart for what we do". The Salvation Army also assists residents year-round with utility bills, rent and meals, feeding approximately 40,000 people annually, Stearns said.

"While donations might be down, I know that there are several gifts and such that have already come in and we are very thankful for that", he said.

"The Salvation Army puts back 83 cents per donated dollar to the community", with the rest going toward administrative and fundraising expenses, she said.

"We're run by volunteers", she said. The number includes $124,079.06 raised so far in the 25 Red Kettles at stores throughout Bloomington-Normal and $128,402.30 from mail, online and other gifts.

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