Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Volunteer moving box of frozen turkeys

The gift of time

Added on Friday, November 1, 2013

While the upcoming holidays can deliver the best of times, they can also be a source of financial stress for families in need. Enter you. A bright, smiling face standing by ready to help.

If you want to help The Salvation Army help others this holiday season, we have more than 64,000 rewarding volunteer opportunities in the Twin Cities alone. Add greater Minnesota and North Dakota, and there’s something for everyone.

Bell Ringing

One good investment of time no matter where you live is ringing bells at a kettle for your local Salvation Army.

“Bell ringers are priceless to our fundraising efforts,” said Major Jonathan Fjellman, pastor and leader of the Grand Forks Salvation Army. “We have more than 2,500 volunteer opportunities available in Grand Forks alone.”

That infamous red kettle standing silently by a business door gathers only pocket change. Add a smiling face and the sound of a ringing bell and the average dollars raised increases to over $30 per hour—and sometimes more (sign up to bell ring). That may not sound like much, but $30 will house one person for a night and provide three hot meals. The icing on the cake is that all the funds raised in that kettle stay in the community in which the kettle is located, your community, unless otherwise designated by the donor.

Toy Programs

Most Salvation Army locations in Minnesota and North Dakota also offer a holiday toy program that is fully-supported by volunteer man-power, such as Toy Shop or Angel Tree.

“Toy Shop is such an important part of our holiday service,” said Major William Cox, pastor and leader of the Duluth Salvation Army. “Volunteers are always needed for a successful season.”

Though the available opportunities vary by location, in general the biggest need leading into the holiday season is help registering families. Volunteers may also be needed to sort toy donations and help parents shop for toys in December.

Holiday Meals

One of our most important holiday services – food assistance – also relies heavily on volunteers. Families and the homeless receive a sense of comfort, dignity and caring with their holiday meal as a result of this great service opportunity.

“Food is so basic, but we need help in so many different ways during this time of year,” said Major James Frye, pastor and leader of the Rochester Salvation Army. “It’s a tough time for the homeless or families lacking money. We need volunteers to help serve food and cheer.”

From packing food baskets, to serving the homeless warm meals, to working in food shelves or distributing the food, these services are available at most Salvation Army locations throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.

Opportunities Near You

The Salvation Army has thousands of acts of kindness and meaningful opportunities available for you. Depending on your location, volunteer opportunities remain vacant, waiting for individuals or groups to enlist their time. Borrowing those infamous words from Uncle Sam, “We need you.” The Salvation Army needs you!

To sign up for a holiday volunteer opportunity where you live, click the links below to find the community closest to you.

Don’t see your community listed? Please contact the service representative for your county.