Family rings and sings at red kettles for 17th year
Sisters Anne and Amanda Berry (maiden name) yesterday began their 17th year of singing Christmas carols and ringing bells at the red kettles.
The pair first started ringing in 2004 after hearing a radio ad on Minnesota’s Christmas station, KOOL 108.
“We were driving together and thought, hey, we should do that!” said Anne, while ringing with Amanda and their kids at Cub in New Brighton.
The sisters have been ringing bells for so long that neither of them even had kids when they first started. Today, Anne has two kids and Amanda has three. Like so many other families, the group has made a tradition out of ringing bells for The Salvation Army. Sign up to ring.
“It’s a bonding experience for us,” Anne said. “We like to spread joy together.”
Bell ringing also helps teach their children a valuable lesson.
“It helps the kids to experience what it’s like to give back,” Amanda said.
In addition to ringing bells, the group also makes music by singing Christmas carols together at the kettles.
“We have a wide repertoire of songs, although we don’t always know all the words,” Amanda said with a laugh. “We sometimes have to ‘La, la, la’ our way through it.”
Amanda’s youngest child, Melia, 9, looks forward to volunteering with her family every Christmas season.
“I like the music and I like ringing the bell,” Melia said. “And I like hanging out with my cousins and auntie.”
The family is excited to ring bells for many more years to come.
“We love The Salvation Army and everything they do,” Anne said.
Ring in a new tradition
This Christmas season, you too can ring in a new tradition by ringing bells for The Salvation Army. With four weeks remaining in the Red Kettle season and hundreds of kettle locations throughout Minnesota and North Dakota, you’re sure to find a convenient time and place to ring. Sign up now.
Most importantly, your time at a kettle will raise money to provide food, shelter and care for people in need. Just two hours at a kettle typically raises about $60 – enough money for The Salvation Army to provide a hot meal and one night of shelter for a person experiencing homelessness.
You can do something good this holiday season by donating to The Salvation Army, volunteering, or ringing bells at a Red Kettle. Your help will provide food, shelter and care for local families in need. Because of you, Hope Marches On.