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NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There’s a holiday crisis going on here in North Texas. You may have noticed there aren’t as many bell ringers for the Salvation Army this year.

It might be news to you, but the majority of bell ringers aren’t volunteers, they’re paid seasonal workers. The lack of workers is kind of a good news, bad news situation. Because the job market and the economy are pretty strong here in North Texas this year, there haven’t been enough people signing up for the seasonal work.

That means the red kettles are empty and the organization says that’s a big problem.

Salvation Army spokesperson Pat Patey explained that, “On average a kettle would bring in about $200, so that translates into up to $10,000 a day in donations that are not able to be collected this year because of the shortage of bell ringers.”

Right now the Salvation Army is in desperate need for either paid workers or volunteer groups that can take on the responsibility of collecting at a site for a full day, not just an hour or two.

According to Patey, there are 600 kettle sites available. So, if you consider five shifts a day at 600 locations for 26 days, it will take 78,000 volunteers and/or workers to cover all the shifts.

The money from the red kettles goes to help families in need year-round and most of the money helps families right here in North Texas. Patey said the funds go to, “Anything from providing after-school care for children, to providing food in our food pantries, to providing shelter at our homeless shelters. The money goes to a good cause, to help real needs right here in the local area.”

As it stands, the center in Irving is most in need of bell ringers, but there are shortages across North Texas.

If you’re interested in signing up to be a bell ringer just log on to salvationarmydfw.org and look for locations, and then contact The Salvation Army center nearest to you and they can tell you about opportunities not far from home.

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