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Never Miss a Chance to Do the Most Good

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Bell Ringing Brings Hope! Image

Bell Ringing Brings Hope!

Your time is priceless! Register to ring today!

The Red Kettle Campaign has a deep history in America.  It began in 1891 in San Francisco when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to provide a free Christmas dinner to families in need.  He used an idea originally developed in Liverpool, England where people could throw some change into a pot to help the poor.  Six years later, it spread to the East Coast and continued to grow into the tradition it is today, spreading throughout the entire United States and across the world.  Click here for a full history of the Red Kettle Campaign. 

The Red Kettle Season is The Salvation Army’s biggest fundraising initiative of the year.  

We do not do it alone - Christmas has an Army, an Army of volunteers who will take to the streets collecting donations to Fight for Good - to give the gift of help, hope and healing to our neighbors when they need it most.

Volunteer: Each Red Kettle needs a warm heart to ring the bell! The hands may be cold -  but being a Red Kettle Ringer is truly one of the most heartwarming experiences you can have!  

Each 2 hrs volunteered generates approximately $80 – that is 80 meals, a month of heat for a family, 3 days of Camp for an underprivileged child! The impact is priceless!  When you volunteer and give at a Red Kettle - remember that the funds stay right here in our community, helping our neighbors. Give local…help local! 

Your time is priceless to a family in crisis. So join The Salvation Army as a Red Kettle bell ringer!  We are looking enthusiastic individuals, families, groups and church groups to donate their time and talents by ringing the bell at area stores in the Grand Traverse area!  

The dollars we raise during the Christmas season provides food, toys, and clothing for the Holidays and emergency assistance throughout the next year. 

Signing up to Bell Ring just got easier with the NEW online sign-up at Register to Ring.com. Check it out - select your favorite location, dates, times, set up an account (you only have to ever do this once) make your selections and you are ready to ring! You will also get a text reminder of your location and shift!  You can also call Mary at (231) 946-4644 to register. 

Paid Bell Ringers: We have both volunteer and paid bell ringing opportunities. Paid bell ringer applicants should be 18 years of age or older. Must be dedicated and able to stand for long periods of time outside in winter weather, be responsible, and in good health. Must be neat in appearance, as you will be representing The Salvation Army to the public. Paid Bell Ringer wage is $10.00 per hour. Applications for paid bell ringers are available at The Salvation Army Community Center, 1239 Barlow St. Traverse City.  There will be a mandatory orientation training on November 1 at 10am.   


  • What is the time commitment?  It varies.  Some groups ring daily, others just once during a holiday season.  We ask you to commit to a minimum two hour shift.
  • Is there an expense for me?  No!  We supply the kettle, kettle stand, an apron and the bells.
  • How long is the bell ringing season?  This year, we will ring Monday through Saturday from November 13 until December 23.
  • Why does bell ringing start so early?  Traditionally, we begin the campaign locally the Monday following Veteran’s Day.
  • Can I pick my location?  We have a list approved sites and you can select your location from the list.

Fun Ideas

  • Sing Christmas carols while you, your friends or family gather around the kettle.
  • Develop a challenge amongst your friends, colleagues or even rivals to see who can raise more funds. (Think Team A vs. Team B)
  • Dress up! Some of our volunteers wear fun holiday clothing!

Click here to see our Top 10 Reasons to Bell RIng 

Register now online, make joyful noise and help our neighbors when they need it most or call Mary at 231-946-4644 ext. 308 . Click here to see other holiday season volunteer opportunities.