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It’s time to start organizing the forty-seventh “Tree of Lights Campaign” in Jersey County. Last year’s bell ringing campaign provided over $45,000 in cash donations and countless canned food items and personal care products. This generosity allowed The Salvation Army to help over 1982 individuals with emergency financial needs and food assistance, 1241 individuals with hygiene products including, soap products and paper goods. Funding comes from bell ringing at Christmas time, donations throughout the year, and memorials.
This year the Salvation Army is going to need additional help from our community. While bell ringers come from all walks of life, a good number are typically organized by groups at the high school. However, this year high school groups will not be organizing students to help. Richard Lott, Chairman of the Jerseyville Salvation Army, said that this was due to an abundance of caution and that he completely understood the school’s decision. “I know that our administrators are working tirelessly to protect our community’s children, and just as importantly, to keep them in school. While we are going to great lengths to make the bell ringing safe, I understand their not wanting to introduce any new risks into their equation.”
Lott said that bell ringers will be outside, where the risk of transmission is lower. They will also have a plexiglass shield, hand-sanitizer, and will of course be asked to follow CDC guidelines to wear masks and socially distance.
Bell ringing will be at Wal-Mart North and South, Sinclair Foods, and Jerseyville Farm and Home Supply on Fridays and Saturdays each week. The hours for ringing this year will be from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. beginning Friday, November 13 through Saturday, December 19. That is twelve days or 48 eleven-hour shifts. If your organization is willing to help, please select a chairperson and call 498-3166 or 946-2702 to schedule a time, date, and location. Given the greater need this year, get creative with your ‘organization.’ Though these are traditionally businesses, churches, and other groups, they can just as easily be a group of friends or a neighborhood that bands together for a great cause.