Salvation Army Launches 2005 Bell Ringing Campaign

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Lynn Blakeley has been ringing the Salvation Army bell for more than 15 years. His volunteer efforts are part of his personal retirement project. In his 15 years of fundraising, he has collected more than $71,000 for the Salvation army and he doesn't plan on stopping any time soon.
"My goal is to live long enough so I can collect $100,000," said Lynn Blakeley, a Salvation Army volunteer.
The bell ringing campaign raises funds to provide food and toys for families in need throughout the Chippewa Valley.
"So far, we've signed up in the two communities probably 400 families. We expect two to 300 families to contact us in the days to come on our list to receive assistance this year," said Major Harold Baugh.
The Salvation Army raised more than $225,000 last year and hopes to do the same thing this year. There are 20 stores and business in the Chippewa Valley where people can donate. However, volunteers are still needed to ring the bells this year.
"We need many, many more volunteers. We have blocks of time that there are no volunteers. Even today as we're speaking we could use 20 more volunteers today."
A lot of the money raised during this month long fundraiser will be used during the holiday season. It will also be used throughout the year.
"Twenty-five to 40 families a day come through our offices for some type of crisis that they're facing. We're able to help them with them. So, it's a 12 month operation and one month of fundraising."
The Salvation Army will be collecting money until Saturday, December 24th. If you are interested in volunteering your time, call the Eau Claire Salvation Army at 834-1224. You can also call the Chippewa Falls Salvation Army at 726-9506.