10/22/2013 2:40:00 PM Bell ringer coordinator needed
By Tara Lindquist
Dodge County SEMCAC is seeking one large hearted volunteer to help organize bell ringing hours at Sunshine Foods in Dodge Center for the annual Salvation Army Kettle Drive.
According to SEMCAC director Marty Pogalz, the volunteer would be responsible for taking calls and scheduling bell ringers throughout the holiday season. This is a volunteer position.
"I'm looking for someone to coordinate the newest Salvation Army bell ringing location," she explained. "We've never had bell ringers at Sunshine Foods before or in Dodge Center before, this will be our first year." The only other location for bell ringers is at Erdman's in Kasson. Pogalz pointed out Sunshine Foods has been very supportive of SEMCAC and is the only local business that accepts gas vouchers that SEMCAC issues for those in need. Claremont Gas and Grocery is the only other gas station in the county that will honor them. "For people that live in Hayfield, West Concord, Kasson, Mantorville and Dodge Center, Claremont is not a close option for them to use the gas voucher at," she explained. "We are so grateful that Sunshine Foods continued on John's Foods policy of accepting the gas vouchers." She said due to the way that the gas vouchers work, other local gas stations that are part of large chains consider the vouchers to be charges and they won't accept them.
The annual kettle drive is crucial to the services that SEMCAC provides. Last year about twelve thousand dollars was raised during the holiday season. All funds raised in Dodge County stay in Dodge County, that is not the case if Dodge County residents mail a check into the Salvation Army, the funds to not come back to the county. The money raised last year to help those in need provided 76 gas vouchers, paid for one month of prescription medication for those without insurance, purchased beds, provided food vouchers for area Christmas anonymous dinner baskets, and supplied children in the county with $2,000 worth of school supplies.
SEMCAC works closely with Dodge County Human Services to find areas where there is no program that covers reoccurring needs for area citizens. "The money is used for emergencies," Pogalz said. "It's not a repeating assisting program, it's for unforeseen circumstances."
Anyone interested in coordinating bell ringers for Sunshine Foods is asked to call Marty at 507-634-4350. Marty is also open to area groups starting bell ringers for other area towns if anyone is interested.