The sounds of the iconic Salvation Army bells can be heard across Western New York, but the Red Kettle's are not as full as they usually are this time of year.
The first full week of The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign revealed disappointing numbers of donations for the Upstate New York region. A reason for this is because the campaign started a week later than normal-- creating a $30,000 deficit.
The Salvation Army needs to raise $630,000 to support the employment centers, food pantries, and other social service programs in Western New York.
"We are asking people to give and we want to reach our goal," Captain Raymond Arocho of the Salvation Army said. "Everything goes back to the community."
More bell ringers are also needed to help with getting the donations needed to hit their goal. Just one hour of bell ringing raises enough money to help 13 people.
There are a few volunteers that take the bell ringing to the next level-- like Wally Jedermann.
He traded in the classic bell for a piano. He needed an excuse to play again and he knows he is doing a big favor for the Salvation Army, he says.
"I get a lot of smiles," Jedermann says.
This is his third year volunteering for the Salvation Army at Tops Market at the Sheridan Dr. location in the Town of Tonawanda.
"They did more in two hours when I played than they did all day," Jederman said.
If you want to show off your bell ringing skills to help donations pour in you can sign up at the Salvation Army website.