Red kettles return for donationsPublished 7:01pm Saturday, November 24, 2012
What began as a San Francisco ship captain seeking to help the poor more than 100 years ago has become an age-old holiday tradition—the Salvation Army red kettle bell ringing. And as the Christmas season sets in, so does the sound of ringing bells outside several Dallas County grocery stores and retail outlets.
The red kettle bell ringing officially began last Friday, said Salvation Army bookkeeper Monique Brech, and several locals and area organizations have already taken post to help raise money for the worthy cause.
“We’ve had a few clubs come out and volunteer,” Brech said. “Over the weekend the Selma ROTC came out and rang. The Lions Club, the Pilot Club and Orrville Baptist Church also came out.”
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., bell ringers can be found at the Winn Dixie on Dallas and Highland Avenue, Dave’s Market, Calhoun Foods, Walgreens, Raceway and three locations at the Selma Mall.
Brech said 100 percent of the proceeds go back to the Salvation Army to assist in costs and operations.
“This is what helps us get through the entire year,” Brech said. “It helps to support our Christmas effort and all our social service efforts.”
Major Mary Welch said she hopes the ringing produces strong yields this year because it’s one of the main fundraisers that keeps the Selma chapter of the Salvation Army afloat.
“It helps support the Salvation Army for one thing, but it also allows us to help others,” Welch said. “We can’t survive without people donating, that’s the only way we can keep our doors open.”
Also, signing up to volunteer as a ringer is an easy process, Brech added. A simple call to the Salvation Army is all it takes.
“People just need to call us and we can get them out there,” Brech said. “Anytime someone wants to give their time, we will make it work for them.”
Usually, Brech said people can ring the bells in shifts, making it easier to fit the time in to busy holiday schedules.
“We’re trying to get a lot of volunteers because all that money goes straight back in to the Salvation Army,” she said.
To volunteer, call 872-1646.