WAXAHACHIE

The Salvation Army needs an army of volunteers to help ensure the annual Red Kettle Campaign rings in another successful fundraising season.

The funds collected support the mission of The Salvation Army to provide social, spiritual, and disaster relief services to all residents of Ellis County.

Lt. Robert Coriston stated the recruitment of volunteers has been made a little easier this year thanks to a new website that makes the process easier.

“The need is for volunteers to go out there and ring the bells for us. We have an exciting new website that we are using, called registertoring.com,” Coriston said. “It allows an individual to find out where they want to ring, what day they want to ring, and what shifts are available. Years past it would be a person saying do you want to ring here or here. This way they go right up and find the day and the location they want.”

Coriston stated he hopes that the website will bring in more volunteers who want to participate. Last year, the Salvation Army had 23 kettle locations, but due to a volunteer shortage, not all the sites were filled. Bell ringing started Nov. 13. Full operations will begin Nov. 23. Bell ringing runs from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Coriston stated a need the Army faces in the next year is a continual increase of people they serve that are in need of social services.

“I think that influx of people needing assistance is attributed to the costs of living rising remarkably around here,” Coriston said. "So I think that it is important to stay ahead of it.”

Another need the Army faces in the next year is the replacement of the vehicles it uses for the afterschool programs. The vehicles are used to shuttle students from schools to the Salvation Army, as well as on field trips.

“They opened up new schools, and because we pick up our kids from the schools, we need new vehicles to pick up our kids safely and on time. That is something we need to get down this year our busses are getting really old,” Coriston said. “Right now we are borrowing a 12-passenger van from our area command. One of our buses has a leak in the roof. We are going to look at getting one or two new busses or vans.”

Money donated to the local Red Kettle Campaign stays in Ellis County and funds its operations and programs throughout the year.

In another community fundraising effort, The Salvation Army hosted the third annual Downtown Dash in honor of Missy Bevers on Saturday, Nov. 3. Bevers was murdered at the Creekside Church of Christ as she was setting up for an exercise class on April 18, 2016.

Coriston stated it was great to see the community come out to support the organization and remember Bevers.

“One of the last events that Missy did is she helped plan, for the Salvation Army kids at our camp, a mud obstacle course,” Coriston said. “The event does not just pay homage to someone that was an all-around great person, but people raised money for an organization who is making a difference. Half the reason why it was so successful is that everyone did their part.”

Coriston stated the run raised about $13,000 that will go to support the Salvation Army’s operations.

For questions, Coriston can be reached by phone at 972-937-7727 or by email at Robert.coriston@uss.salvationarmy.org. To volunteer to be a bell ringer go to www.registertoring.com. The Salvation Army of Ellis County is located at 620 Farley Street in Waxahachie.