Kettle spotlight: Diane Christenson is hooked on bell ringing

Dec 4, 2020

Last Christmas season, 64-year-old Diane Christenson of Maple Grove rang bells for The Salvation Army for the very first time in her life.

That one shift of bell ringing is all it took for her to become hooked. She has since signed up to ring for 25 hours this Christmas season. 

Why does she love to ring so much?

“Because of all the different people who stop to tell me the stories of how The Salvation Army helped them,” said Christenson, a retired bus driver and maintenance worker for Robbinsdale School District. “And I like the fact that (The Salvation Army) is a Christian organization.” (Sign up to ring.)

Christenson also enjoys ringing bells because of the nostalgia. As a girl, she remembers going to Salvation Army thrift stores with her mom, and she recalls the stories her father-in-law told her about how The Salvation Army helped him and other soldiers during World War II.    

“A lot of veterans stop by my kettle to talk,” said Christenson, who usually rings at Hobby Lobby in Maple Grove. “It doesn’t matter which war the veterans were in – The Salvation Army was there helping them. The Salvation Army does so much for everyone, so I want to help them, too.”

Get hooked on ringing 

You, too, can get hooked on bell ringing by signing up to ring

Your help is desperately needed: The number of volunteer bell ringers has dropped 15 percent compared to last year. This drop is resulting in thousands upon thousands of dollars of lost donations. 

Bell ringing is a fun and safe fundraising activity that now includes enhanced social distancing and sanitization measures, with Apple Pay and Google Pay options for touchless giving. During a two-hour shift, you’ll raise an average of $60 for Salvation Army services – enough money to provide a day’s worth of food and shelter for a person experiencing homelessness. 

No time to ring? There are many other ways to help The Salvation Army Rescue Christmas for families in need. 

Enlist in Love’s Army by giving a donation or ringing bells at a red kettle. Your gifts of time and money will help Rescue Christmas for people and families struggling to get through the pandemic.  

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