Salvation Army

The Salvation Army has held a red kettle campaign every year since returning to Ottumwa. Now Envoy Joel Arthur hopes more people will be interested in volunteering at the first ever red kettle volunteer sign up party from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on October 8 at 505 W. Main St.

OTTUMWA — It’s not Christmas yet, but the Salvation Army is already thinking about the holiday season.

For the first time this year, the Salvation Army is launching a red kettle volunteer sign up party on from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on October 8 in order to recruit volunteers to ring bells for the Christmas season.

Envoy Joel Arthur said one of the purposes of the volunteer party is to explain to people how to sign up to ring bells. People will be able to choose their preferred volunteer times. With these two set ups, Arthur said it will be a smoother process of signing up and may have met one of Salvation Army’s goals.

“Our goal is to get the community — people, business people and all kinds of volunteers,” Arthur said. “We will explain how this works which will be a much better tool to help with the Christmas kettles.”

Arthur wanted to have this launch party because of the success it brought to the Salvation Army in other communities.

“For us it was an excuse to start using this platform and introduce volunteers to the needs of the community,” he said. “Volunteering just doesn’t have to be work. We want to make it fun for all. Two hours isn’t a lot when you’re having fun.”

While one of the purposes of the party is to get people interested in volunteering, the ultimate one is to raise funds in order to help meet the needs of the community and those struggling financially or with “helplessness and hopelessness.”

“It’s a way for those to help those who don’t think they can make it this Christmas season,” he said. “This doesn’t end at Christmas. The services we provide continues all throughout the year. “It’s back [Salvation Army] and we want to make a strong presence knowing it’s active here in Ottumwa. We only want to help the community further.”

For those who don’t believe they have the time to volunteer, Arthur encourages them to consider dedicating two hours for one day this holiday season.

“I would ask them, ‘are you a person who wants to help a person in need?,’” Arthur said. “That’s what I would ask them. Every little bit helps, you decide what you can do to help. “Volunteering at a kettle for just two hours can make a big difference in the lives of those in need.”

Those who have questions or want more information can contact Envoy Joel Arthur at 641-954-8131 or by email at

Chiara Romero can be reached at


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