Bell Ringing Volunteers of Metro Detroit: Families Helping Families

Oct 22, 2021

As we begin our Red Kettle campaign, we are inspired to see families rising up together to serve those in greatest need this Christmas. This year, as Metro Detroiters fight pandemic poverty, our theme is Hope Marches On. Through clothing, coats, rent/mortgage assistance, gifts, holiday meals, and more, we are committed to helping every individual and family in our neighborhoods find a way through difficult times and equip them to overcome challenges. The funds raised through the Red Kettle campaign make our efforts possible, and we are grateful for our volunteer bell ringers who, because of their compassion and alignment with our mission, help us during the holiday season. 

The following are a sampling of stories and accounts given by dedicated volunteer bell ringers who are looking to inspire others to get involved. As you read on, we hope you consider joining us this year at one of our kettles.

Jim Orth and his family have been bell ringing for 3 years in support of the Mount Clemens Corps Community Center. “We love supporting a worthy cause,” says Jim. “When my father was 10 years old, his father passed away, and The Salvation Army took care of the family. My dad would never have had a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter without them.” Jim and his wife wanted to show their two children the value of giving back – “and now they love bell ringing,” says Jim. “We all think it’s fun! To anyone out there thinking about becoming a bell ringer, I’d say once you do it, you’ll be hooked! It makes a huge difference in the community, and it’s a family tradition for us.”

A lifelong bell ringer, Amanda Schreiber is a young mom who loves bell ringing with her kids for the Dearborn Heights Corps Community Center. “I grew up bell ringing with my friends – we would always bring Christmas lights and wear matching headbands. I’m passing along the tradition and teaching my kids that supporting Salvation Army programs is vital for our community. I’ve gotten a lot of my family and friends involved, too, and it has become one of the ways we enjoy the holidays. I noticed that once someone bell rings, they keep coming back because of the joy it brings to everyone.”

Phil Cini of Washington Township has been bell ringing for with his family for about 10 years. “It started when I saw a friend of mine ringing with his family. I said, ‘You know what, that’s a good thing to do.’ So I became a ringer, too!” Phil recalls. “We love wishing everyone a happy holiday while we ring. It’s a good way to get out and help a good cause. People are always happy to see us. And we’re so happy to do it that we usually get out multiple times per year. I personally want to see more of our community our there manning the kettles – everyone should be a bell ringer!”

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