How-tos for Spreading Good Cheer: Salvation Army Shares Bell-Ringing Tips for Success
- Organization: The Salvation Army
- Website: www.ringbell.org
By: Amy Howard, volunteer coordinator for The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division
As a chill comes over metro Detroit, you’ll begin to hear those old, familiar bells ringing at nearly 450 local grocery, mom and pop and department store fronts. That’s right! The Salvation Army’s famous red kettles are hitting the streets to raise funds to support our unemployed, homeless and hungry neighbors – and we’re calling out to the community in search of volunteer bell ringers.
Bell ringers make a big difference right in their hometown during Red Kettle season, with the funds tossed in those red kettles staying in that community.
Those considering volunteering should visit www.ringbell.org to view a full list of open dates, times and locations in their area.
To help first-timers enjoy their moment with the famous red kettle, our best bell ringers put together these tips:
Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Volunteers are encouraged to bundle up and layer. Don’t forget thick coats and warm hats, gloves and scarves. Pick up some one-time-use heating packs, which fit perfectly into your gloves and shoes. These air-activated heating packs are available in most super stores and can keep your hands toasty warm.
Jingle Bell Rock: Get passers-by in the spirit of giving by bringing a battery-operated CD player to share popular, upbeat holiday songs. Got the voice of an angel? Maybe you want to get a few people together to join you in singing Christmas carols.
Dress It Up: Make your volunteer time a festive experience by dressing up as your favorite holiday character. Kids will flock to Santa or Mrs. Claus and parents will appreciate the extra effort.
Get a Grip: Every volunteer has his/her own style when it comes to bell ringing. Be sure to keep a firm grip on the handle to avoid the bell slipping out of your hand – it happens more than you would think. To avoid ‘bell elbow,’ hold the bell by your side and ring it up and down in a relaxed manner.
Let There Be Peace on Earth: Don’t take it personally if people avoid eye contact or do not smile back at you. They may not have any extra money to give and feel embarrassed. Remember, any negative feelings will impede your effort to raise money for this worthy cause. So smile and ring on.
High-Tech Ringing: Don’t want to hold a bell? Hold your phone instead. The Salvation Army’s bell ringer iPhone app is a fun way to play bell ringer and help The Salvation Army continue Doing the Most Good. With different musical notes to choose from, users can create unique sounds, play favorite holiday songs, or create on-the-spot jingles.
With your help, lives can change for the better. So ring your bell. Share your hope. And help The Salvation Army continue Doing the Most Good in metro Detroit.
Want to help but can’t volunteer to ring a real bell? Consider manning a virtual red kettle instead! Create or contribute to an Online Red Kettle at www.onlineredkettle.com.
To make a tax deductible contribution to The Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign:
- Visit www.salmich.org
- Call 877-SAL-MICH
- Text "GOODMICH" TO 80888* (an automatic $10 donation)
- Send a check or money order, made payable to The Salvation Army, to: 16130 Northland Dr., Southfield, MI 48075