Sunday, August 24 2014 12:56 AM EDT2014-08-24 04:56:42 GMT
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KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- This year, the Salvation Army hopes to staff over 16,000 hours of bell ringing in Knoxville, Maryville and Alcoa.
Volunteers are always encouraged to participate. But in light of the economy, many job seekers are vying for the few, paid full time positions that are now available.
This year, roughly 25 paid bell ringers are expected to brave the cold weather in order to help charity and their own bank accounts as well.
"That's a shock to some people that we actually hire people to ring bells. Actually from our end financially, it's worth it," says Jonathan Haskell, with Salvation Army community relations. "They usually raise more than enough to cover what we pay them."
The positions pay $7.50 an hour. Paid bell ringers each work 45 hours per week.
However, the Salvation Army hopes to tack on another 4,000 hours, thanks to volunteers.
"It'll help pick me up on my feet, get me some extra cash in my pocket to help me out," said Nicholas Orth, who was turning in his application.
Management expects to receive over 100 applicants for the jobs. Orientation begins November 12 and bells will start ringing on November 16.
If you're wondering what it takes to land a paid gig, keep this in mind.
"The person ringing the bell may be the only person from the Salvation Army that a donor ever gets to meet and so we realize that may be our one chance to make a good impression we want to hire people who will do that for us," Haskell said.
Bell ringers will be at 50 locations around the area.
New locations this year include the Earth Fare stores at Turkey Creek and Bearden and the Mast General Store on Gay Street in downtown.