Preseason Ritual: Salvation Army ringing again for Red Kettle drive

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign begins Monday. Corps Administrator Leonita Schweigert said the organization needs volunteers to ring the bells and man the kettles.

HANCOCK — Every year around this time, the Salvation Army begins recruiting volunteers to ring the bells, said Leonita Schweigert, corps administrator — and as with past years, she is short volunteers.

This year, the Red Kettle Season starts 12 days later than last year.

“We decided to narrow down our time,” Schweigert said, “so that we can concentrate on having all the shifts covered. We cut the bell ringing (by) two weeks. Now we’re starting on Nov. 13, just to concentrate all our efforts on a smaller period of time, so that we can get more people in the shifts.”

This year, the Hancock Salvation Army’s goal is $65,000, Schweigert said. Currently there are a few groups that have already signed up to volunteer, such as the Copper Country Kiwanis and the Lions Club, but Schweigert is still lacking other groups or individuals to volunteer as bell ringers.

Volunteers can choose from a number of location from which to man a kettle:

•Pat’s IGA in Calumet

•Pat’s IGA in Hancock

•Shopko in Calumet

•Shopko in Houghton

•Econo Foods in Houghton

•Wal-Mart at three doors.

“There are three-hour shifts,” Schweigert said. “Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and 5:30p.m. to 7:30 p.m.”

Schweigert said this year everything will be done online.

“All they have to do is sign into to our website,” she said, “and it does everything for us, so it’s working out really well. We’re really excited about people being able to control what shifts they’re going to try, and even at what locations, so they can pick and choose. “It’s all right there on the website, so it’s really excellent.”

Interested groups or individuals can visit the website at

“It takes them right there to bell ringing,” Schweigert said. “They make an account with a user name and password, and then they have access to all our bell ringing, locations and time schedules, along with everything else.”