NORFOLK, Va. — Gloria Burrus doesn't go anywhere without her bell. It's her first year volunteering as a bell ringer with The Salvation Army.
"I love to talk to the people and they keep me encouraged," Burrus said.
Encouraging others during the holiday season is something she takes seriously.
"It's good to talk to them because everybody was down and out," explained Burrus..
You'll see bell ringers everywhere, spreading holiday cheer and helping members of the community as part of The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign, which dates back to the late 1800s.
"They ring the bell, just meet folks and have friendly conversation," said Major Donald Dohmann with The Salvation Army Hampton Roads Area Command. "Really it's just a visible and audible reminder that there is need."
The Salvation Army is also in need. The organization is low on bell ringers.
"In the past, we would have churches that would take a day or two and they would rotate their members in different spots and we're not quite seeing that," Dohmann said.
The organization is seeing a 60% decline in volunteer hours compared to last year.
"One of the big factors is probably still coming out of the pandemic," he said. "I think people are still a little concerned about being around large groups."
Dohmann said there's still time to volunteer an hour or two this season. You can register to ring here.
"If you want to serve God in a blessed way, this is the only place you can do it," Burrus said.