Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota

Volunteer Bell Ringing

Got questions about volunteering as a bell ringer in Jamestown? Watch this video, then scroll through our FAQs.

When you’re ready to schedule a shift, call our office at 701-252-0290. It’s that simple.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an age requirement for bell ringers?

Families report bell ringing is a great way to instill a sense of community spirit in young children.  While anyone is invited to join us as a bell ringer, kids under 14 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Teens younger than 16 must have permission to volunteer from a parent or guardian.

How does bell ringing work?

Simplyschedule a shift and location that’s convenient for you. A kettle and bell will at your location when you arrive. If there is already a ringer there, just let them know you are the next scheduled volunteer and take over for them. Then, start ringing with a smile. Wish shoppers a “Merry Christmas” and thank people for their donation.

How long do I have to ring?

Whenever possible, we ask volunteers to sign up for a minimum shift of two hours. Four hours is even better, as it helps The Salvation Army manage sites and volunteers more effectively. To make it even more fun, we encourage you to find someone to ring with you.

How many people can be at the kettle?

Most kettle sites have limited space. Groups of more than three people may intimidate potential donors. Except in special cases, no more than five people may ring at a kettle site at one time.

What if I have to reschedule?

If you are unable to make your scheduled ringing time, please call our office at least 48 hours before your shift.

What do I do with the kettle when I am finished?

The kettle is securely locked onto the stand, and only Salvation Army staff may remove it. If the next ringer has arrived, simply give them the bell. If no one has come to replace you or collect the equipment (last shift of the day), please place the bell next to the kettle, and you may leave. Volunteers are not responsible for “standing guard” over the kettle once their shift is finished.

Can I give out Christmas treats/gifts to shoppers?

We ask that while you are volunteering you do not give items such as candy canes, flyers or other items to shoppers. As part of our agreement with the stores, we are not allowed to give out items or promotional materials at the kettle, except in special instances where The Salvation Army provides items to bell ringers to distribute.

Why are there no kettles out on Sundays?

The Salvation Army is a Christian church, and we want everyone to have the opportunity to attend a worship service on Sundays and have a day of rest.