Bells will be ringing for area charities

Mike Mason, of Winchester, rings a bell on Friday for the Salvation Army in front of Apple Blossom Mall in Winchester. This is his second year helping the charity organization.  Nathan Budryk/Daily

Mike Mason, of Winchester, rings a bell on Friday for the Salvation Army in front of Apple Blossom Mall in Winchester. This is his second year helping the charity organization. Nathan Budryk/Daily

Local Salvation Army organizations have begun their bell ringing efforts to raise money for families in need this holiday season. Volunteers are posted outside popular stores ringing bells and looking for generous donations to support their community.

FRONT ROYAL

The Front Royal Salvation Army kicked off their annual bell ringing in front of Rural King Nov. 10.

Lt. Matthew Tidman with Front Royal Salvation Army said they hope to raise $100,000 this year through their bell ringing. Last year they raised about $30,000.

“It is a large increase in our goal this year,” he said. “We’re hoping to get a larger amount because the more money we raise the more assistance we can offer to the community and the more things we’re able to do in the community to help out the community.”

He said he believes $100,000 is attainable because they have a few extra locations where volunteers are ringing this year and hopes this brings in more donations.

Before Thanksgiving, they planned to ring at five locations and also have two kettle locations without ringers.

Now, after Thanksgiving, they’re branching out to 10 locations and will still have the two additional kettle locations. They will be out raising money until Dec. 24.

Tidman said they are still looking for individual volunteers to help ring at the various locations around Front Royal. Volunteer groups have signed up to help ring, including the Front Royal Kiwanis Club, Front Royal and Warren County rotary clubs, the Ruritan Club and the Northern Virginia 4-H club.

“It’s going to be a really tough year as far as our kettle goal is concerned, however we believe by working with the community we will be able to reach that goal,” he added.

For more information, contact the Front Royal Salvation Army: 357 Cloud St., 540-635-4020, or online at http://www.virginiasalvationarmy.org/frontroyalva.

WOODSTOCK

The Shenandoah County unit of the Salvation Army began its bell ringing Friday and will continue until Christmas Eve, continuing a 20-year tradition of bell ringing in Shenandoah County.

Richard “Dick” Cooley, with the Shenandoah Salvation Army, said they ring on Fridays and Saturdays around Woodstock, primarily at the local Wal-Mart.

He said they have about 25 volunteers at this time but are “always looking for more volunteers.”

With more bell ringers, he said they could ring during the week.

Students 16 years and older can volunteer, he added, when school is out.

“We can always use good bell ringers,” he said.

He said they are hoping to bring in as many donations as they can get and exceed last year’s total of about $16,000.

For more information, contact the Shenandoah County Unit Of Salvation Army: Richard E Cooley at 617 Kestrel Court, Woodstock, 540-459-5192.

WINCHESTER

The Winchester Salvation Army is also working to raise money over the holidays and began their bell ringing efforts on Nov. 14.

Wanda Lloyd, office manager and human resource generalist with the Winchester Salvation Army, said they hope to raise $160,000. Last year they were able to raise $149,000.

She said they are ringing at area locations, including The Apple Blossom Mall, the ABC store, Hobby Lobby, Big Lots, Shop N Save and Wal-Mart locations until Dec. 24.

They currently have around 100 volunteers helping with their fundraising efforts, but are still looking for an additional 100 volunteers to ring bells around Winchester, she added.

The Winchester Salvation Army is also partnering with Sheetz Inc. this year to sponsor a turkey drive. Lloyd said they are encouraging people to donate a frozen turkey to the Winchester Salvation Army to feed a family this holiday season. They are hoping to receive 400 turkeys for Christmas by Dec. 9.

In exchange for the donation, you will receive a $5 Sheetz gift card.

For more information, contact the Winchester Salvation Army: 300 Fort Collier Road, 540-662-4777, or online at http://virginiasalvationarmy.org/winchesterva/.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com.

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