Ring in a new tradition

Oct 19, 2021

This holiday season, thousands of people in Minnesota and North Dakota will continue a special tradition of ringing bells, raising money, and making memories at the red kettles – and you can, too. Sign up to ring now.

Volunteers like Devon Golla of Kimball, Minn., have been ringing for years. She is entering her fourth straight Christmas of gathering all of her family members to ring bells for The Salvation Army. 

“We crank up the Christmas carols and dance to stay warm,” Devon said. 

Another bell ringer, Anne Van Kleek, rings in Cottage Grove with her husband and daughter, Mary, who lives with a disability. Mary first suggested they ring together five years ago. 

“We had so much fun watching (Mary) interact with people that we continued to sign up year after year,” Anne said. “This has become a tradition in our family and Mary invites everyone to come and see her.”

About half of all bell ringers are repeat ringers like Devon and the Van Kleeks. 

“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. 

It only takes one bell ringing shift to become hooked. Just ask Diane Christenson of Maple Grove, a retired bus driver and maintenance worker. Two Christmases ago, she signed up to ring bells for the very first time. She liked it so much, she signed up for 25 hours last Christmas season. 

Christenson enjoys ringing “because of all the different people who stop to tell me the stories of how The Salvation Army helped them,” she said. “And I like the fact that (The Salvation Army) is a Christian organization.” (Read more about Diane.)

Ring in a new tradition

This Christmas season, you too can ring in a new tradition by ringing bells for The Salvation Army. With hundreds of kettle locations throughout Minnesota and North Dakota, you’re sure to find a convenient spot to ring. 

Most importantly, your time at a kettle will raise money 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. 

Sign up to ring now.

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