OSHKOSH — The Salvation Army's bells have become one of the most familiar sounds of the holiday season, but this year they've been unusually quiet in Oshkosh.
Major James Mungai—commanding officer for the Oshkosh Salvation Army—says it's because his organization is critically low on bell-ringers for its Christmas drive.
“We in Oshkosh do 100% volunteers," he says, "Right now we only have about 38% of our spots filled.”
Mungai says the bells and red kettles are especially important to the Salvation Army, as about half the organization's budget comes from funds they raise. He says this year's target is $215,000, with the money going to support the Salvation Army's food pantries, social services, and more.
Mark Radley—who rings for the Salvation Army at Festival and Pick 'N Save grocery stores in Oshkosh—said he's surprised more people haven't volunteered.
“A lot of people I know I kinda try and talk them into doing this." He said, "I say it’s for a good cause and it can be fun, I don’t know why somebody wouldn’t want to do it.”
The Salvation Army has two upcoming match days on December 6th and December 15th, where businesses pledge to match donations up to a certain amount. Anyone interested in volunteering can go to registertoring.com.