Help a Neighbor – Volunteer to Ring a Silver Bell
(San Bernardino, Calif.) –The Salvation Army is gearing up for its Christmas tradition of ringing silver bells by shiny red kettles, so that passersby have a trustworthy opportunity to help those less fortunate.
“The Red Kettle fund raiser is our biggest fund raiser of the year,” said Capt. Nancy Ball, corps officer of The Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps. “We use the funds received to support our programs year-round to provide food, shelter and youth programs to our community.
The Salvation Army will continue ringing bells, Monday through Saturday until Christmas Eve. It seeks volunteer bell-ringers so that it can staff even more locations, more of the time.
For the past several years, Salvation Army of San Bernardino board member, and Dameron Communications founder and creative director, Carl Dameron volunteered with his wife Malaika and two daughters, Shaila and Shiane. The entire Salvation Army of San Bernardino board also volunteered their time to ring silver bells and ask the community for help.
“We receive great satisfaction knowing we had made a difference in our community,” Carl Dameron said. “We also enjoyed spending the time together as a family and teaching our children about the responsibility we have to care for those in our community who are less fortunate.”
Capt. Ball encourages families, groups of friends, community organizations, churches and Sunday school classes to sign up as a “Bell Ringer for A Day.” The Salvation Army especially seeks groups large enough to work in shifts throughout am eight-hour day, such as Rotary, Lions or Elks clubs, youth groups, church groups and large employers.
Each Thanksgiving the Salvation Army Corps of San Bernardino serves about 500 people holiday meals. It serves almost as many meals on a daily basis to those who are homeless and hungry.
Feeding the hungry is just one of the ways money donated to The Salvation Army helps. Salvation Army Corps offers lodging for homeless or evicted families; clothing and furniture for burnout victims, and assistance with rent/mortgage, utilities and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in disasters such as fires.
In San Bernardino, The Hospitality House provides temporary emergency shelter and support in rebuilding the lives of thousands of homeless families.
To volunteer as a bellringer in San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto, Grand Terrace, Bloomington or Highland, call (909) 888-1336.
In addition, one may donate to The Salvation Army online, through the website www.salvationarmyusa.org. Donors may specify to which branch of The Salvation Army the money should be sent.
How the Bell Ringer campaign began:
Capt. Joseph McFee, serving with the San Francisco Salvation Army Corps back in 1891, wanted to serve Christmas dinner to the poor in his neighborhood. But he didn’t have money to do so.
Mc Fee remembered as a sailor in Liverpool, England, seeing people on the docks throw money into a large kettle called “Simpson’s Pot” to help the poor. He decided this might work in California, too.
He set up a kettle at the Oakland Ferry Landing, which operated a ferry that was, in those days, the only way across San Francisco Bay. He put a sign on the kettle saying, “Keep the Pot Boiling” and raised enough money to serve the Christmas dinner.
His idea spread quickly, and by 1897 Salvation Army Corps nationwide were collecting money in kettles to serve the needy in their communities. Among The Salvation Army Corps collecting money this way before the turn of the 20th Century was The Salvation Army of San Bernardino, which formed in 1887.
About the Salvation Army San Bernardino Corps
The Salvation Army may be able to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; assistance with rent or mortgage and transportation when funds are available. The Salvation Army Team Radio Network assists rescue workers and evacuees in such disasters as fires.
The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the Universal Christian church and also offers evangelical programs for boys, girls and adults. One of the largest charitable and international service organizations in the world, The Salvation Army has been in existence since 1865 and in San Bernardino since 1887, supporting those in need without discrimination. Donations may always be made online at www.salvationarmyusa.org or by calling 1-(800)-SAL-ARMY.
For local help, please call (909) 888-1336.
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