BOZEMAN — It takes dedication for Salvation Army volunteers to stand out in the cold, but Billy Maun, a new volunteer said he doesn’t mind it at all.
“I have a lot of free time on my hands, so I just get out, meet some people, greet people, tell them Merry Christmas, and Happy Thanksgiving,” said Maun.
Maun has been standing outside of Smith’s in Bozeman since 10 a.m. Wednesday morning. Today is only his second day as a Red Kettle volunteer.
“It’s not too bad aside from the cold,” said Maun. “People are so friendly.”
Maun says it’s pretty rewarding, standing out there knowing he’s giving back to the community but he knows the Army is facing a challenge:
“I know they’re really short-staffed this year,” said Maun.
Captain Amber Cole is the core officer for Gallatin Valley Salvation Army. She says people are 90% more likely to donate when there is a person standing next to the red kettle.
“And we’re just struggling this year to get volunteers,” said Cole.
She says they try to have at least 3 volunteers daily at different locations taking donations, but today Maun is the only volunteer out.
“We didn’t have any out yesterday so that’s a missed opportunity,” said Cole. “I was a little surprised to see the lack of volunteers during this holiday season.”
Cole says this time of year is when they need the most helping hands.
“This is when we’re full-force into fundraising,” said Cole. “We’re looking for over 100 volunteers to step up.”
This year, the Salvation Army’s fundraising goal is $66,000 dollars. So far, they’ve only raised $854. Cole says they’re a little behind, as they should be at about $5,000 dollars right now.
These donations go toward many different services to combat hunger, overcome poverty, educate children, and much more.
To volunteer, you can visit https://volunteer.usawest.org
“If you have the time, just do it,” said Maun. “It’s better than sitting around the house doing nothing.”