Bell ringers continue tradition during first week of Red Kettle season

Nov 17, 2021

Rebecca Wick and her daughter, Rosie, are two of countless volunteers to ring bells in the Twin Cities during the opening week of the Red Kettle season. (Sign up to ring.)

Like so many others, Rebecca and her family make bell ringing a holiday tradition. They first started ringing about six years ago, when Rebecca’s son – then about 12 or 13 years old – suggested they give it a try.

“We’d always donated to The Salvation Army, but we’d never done the bell ringing,” said Rebecca (pictured), while ringing with Rosie outside the Cub grocery store in Rogers, Minn. “We still come out to ring every year we can. My son is bummed he’s not here today – he’s off at college now.”

After the family’s first time ringing bells, they kept coming back because of the joy it brings to them and others.  

“You hear a lot of bad news all the time, but bell ringing is something that’s positive,” Rebecca said. “It makes people smile. That’s a good feeling.”

Another volunteer, Jeremy Welter (pictured), has made bell ringing a tradition for the past three years. He rings for 12 to 16 hours every Christmas season between three locations – Sam’s Club in Fridley, Cub in Golden Valley, and Lunds & Byerlys in Golden Valley. 

“I like meeting people and sharing in their joy and spirit for the holidays, and knowing I’m helping others in the Twin Cities,” said Jeremy, who works as an accountant. “Hopefully we can get more people out to ring the bell this year – last year it was pretty quiet.”

About half of all bell ringers are repeat ringers like Jeremy and the Wick family. 

“People and families keep coming back to the kettles because bell ringing is fun and easy, and it feels so good to help people,” said Jessica Raboin, Red Kettle Coordinator for The Salvation Army Northern Division. 

Ring in a new tradition

This Christmas season, you too can ring in a new tradition by ringing bells for The Salvation Army. With five 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 to ring.

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. 

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