WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign is well underway to help raise money for people in need but there's a problem -- a shortage of volunteers.
This weekend, 52 red kettles will be set up across Winston-Salem, only 18 will have bell ringers.
Outside of the Sam’s Club on Hanes Mall Blvd., you’ll find Earl Baldwin sitting in his wheelchair, ringing his bell, and giving a kind word to anyone who walks past him.
“It's just a way to make a person feel in the season and in the spirit,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin has been a volunteer bell ringer for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign for seven years.
It’s a job he takes a lot of pride in.
“It makes me happy because I know it's going to good use,” said Baldwin. “It's going to help a lot of people.”
Baldwin suffered a stroke in 2006 and has been in a wheelchair ever since.
Over the years, he's relied on the Salvation Army for help getting by.
“When I didn't have nowhere to go to get food to eat, I could go there and get some food,” said Baldwin. “They would fix me up a box to take home.”
Now, he’s doing his part to give back.
Robin Pardella with the Salvation Army says the organization needs more volunteers like Baldwin to help with the red kettle campaign.
“It impacts our community,” said Pardella. “If we don't have the bell ringers out here doing this, we wouldn't be able to raise the funds that we need to take care of our community.”
For Baldwin, it's all about spreading joy for a good cause.
“You enjoy it when you get them to stop and come by the bucket and put some money in the kettle,” he said. “That makes you feel like you're out here doing something worthwhile.”
It's not just Winston-Salem dealing with a shortage of volunteers.
The Salvation Army needs bell ringers all over.
For information on how you can volunteer, visit the Salvation Army website.
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