LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC-TV) – If you've seen them, then you know it's that time of the year again.
Bell-ringers for the Salvation Army are stationed at the busiest places across Lake Charles, collecting donations that are used to help the less fortunate.
"In Lake Charles, the Salvation Army provides Christmas assistance in the way of toys and other items for families, as well [as] all year long we provide accommodations for transient and transitional men, " said Maj. David Craddock, local commander of the Salvation Army.
Most of the Salvation Army's funding comes from the monetary donations collected in its red kettle program.
Like the clients it serves, the Salvation Army fell on hard times during the recession. For instance, the organization had to hire volunteers to serve as bell-ringers.
"If we don't get volunteers we have to hire people, if we have to hire people, that means we have less money at the end of Christmas to do our programs," said Craddock.
But this year, the organization has three times the number of volunteers than it had last year. If all goes accordingly, if donations are generous, then the Salvation Army will be able to help more people this holiday season.
Volunteers like Travis Jones, who is currently in between jobs himself, are certainly working to make that happen.
"I do this to be a volunteer and help out the needy," said Jones. "It's just a nice thing to do."
The Salvation Army needs volunteers for five-hour shifts. You can also get a group together and divide that time.
For more information call the Salvation Army at (337) 721-8068.