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ringing of the bells PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 December 2017 10:22

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Annual holiday collection campaign in full swing



By ROBERT PIERCE
• Leader & Times



The sight of stores being filled is a common one during the holiday season, and among the many sounds Christmas brings to the air is found just outside the doors of the stores.

For more than three decades, the Salvation Army has been ringing bells outside of businesses and other public places to help raise money to assist those in need.

Liberal’s Salvation Army Christmas campaign is in full swing in the midst of this holiday season, but chairman Shelia Limbocker would like to see more activity when it comes to the ringing of the bells.

“I don’t have enough people, and I’m having trouble getting volunteers,” she said. 

Limbocker said she has been working feverishly to try to get more volunteers for the drive, which officially ends this year on Dec. 23.

“I went to the Ministerial Alliance this morning,” she said. “They’re putting it out. My church is putting it out. I’m in need of volunteers.”

Volunteers need to be at least 16 years of age, and Limbocker said high school students can get community service hours for helping with the campaign. She said ringers for the daytime collections for Salvation Army are covered for the most part, but she needs some volunteers for the evenings.

“I’m doing it from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. if I have the volunteers,” she said. “I need Mondays all day and Tuesday through Saturday sometime. They can do two-hour shifts, four-hour shifts, however they want to do it.”

As of right now, Limbocker has kettles at the Walmart store in north Liberal and at Dillon’s. She said she is trying to add Walmart’s Neighborhood Market in west Liberal and the Grand Market near the Southgate Mall to the list.

Limbocker said all of the money raised through the local Salvation Army stays right here.

“Donations we get through the kettles is to help people in need here in Liberal, but all donations in the kettle stays in Liberal,” she said. “It doesn’t go to the corporate office and get redistributed. It stays here in Liberal.”

Limbocker said money from the Salvation Army can be used to help meet many needs for those who need it most.

“If there’s a house fire and Red Cross has done their part, they don’t have any insurance and they find another place to move into and they need help with utilities and deposits, it can be used for that,” she said. “If there are people who have medical appointments in Wichita, and they don’t have gas money, some of that can be used for a gas card. It’s a lot of different things.”

Limbocker said Salvation Army can often assist people where other agencies cannot.

“You take somebody that has got a family of four with a couple of kids and they’ve lost everything they had, Red Cross will give them a place to live and help with food and clothes for a few day,” she said. “That’s kind of a backup. If they need couple more days for a place to stay, Salvation Army can help.”

To receive help locally from Salvation Army, call Dora Ponce at 624-6865.

“The money would go into the account for her,” Limbocker said. “She’s the one that actually distributes it. I’m just the fundraiser part of it.”

Limbocker said she appreciates hearing the sounds of bells ringing outside of stores, and the holiday would not be complete without it.

“To me, that’s Christmas,” she said. “I’ve been around that my entire life. That’s how I got started in this. I’d asked Kay Burtzloff. I said, ‘What happened to the bell ringers?’ She said, ‘I can’t find anybody to do it.’ It’s just not Christmas without the bell ringers. My whole life from Thanksgiving to Christmas, you’d go do your Christmas shopping, and you’ve got the bell ringers. To me, that’s just part of Christmas.”

Limbocker said she herself tries to help out the Salvation Army Christmas campaign whenever she can.

“I always drop money in those kettles,” she said. “That to me is Christmas. My money’s tight too, but I’ve got a little bit of extra that maybe is going to help somebody else. I really didn’t know that much about it until I got involved with it a few years ago.”

Limbocker said the biggest factor in her involvement with Salvation Army is the money being kept local.

“Everything that’s raised in Liberal stays in Liberal,” she said. “That’s a big plus to me.”

Those interested in volunteering to ring bells for this year’s holiday drive can call Limbocker at 405-824-9011.

“Anybody that’s interested in volunteering, feel free to call me, and I’ll get them set up,” she said.

 

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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