The Rapidian

Bell-ringing Volunteers... Who Are They?

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

New bell-ringing volunteers have come to help The Salvation Army this year, as the Red Kettle campaign starts to near the end. The Golden Kettle competition will be determined in the next ten days.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Officers joined with The Salvation Army at Cabela's on Saturday.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Officers joined with The Salvation Army at Cabela's on Saturday. /A/Capt. Mika Roinila

Underwriting support from:
Members of Cub Scout Pack #3283 did very well at Sam's Club

Members of Cub Scout Pack #3283 did very well at Sam's Club /A/Capt. Mika Roinila

Grand Rapids Kiwanis Club was out at the Northland Drive Family Fare

Grand Rapids Kiwanis Club was out at the Northland Drive Family Fare /A/Capt. Mika Roinila

Volunteers are the lifeblood of any organization that relies on the support of the community in maintaining its operations. The Salvation Army welcomes volunteers throughout the year, but volunteers are especially welcomed as bell-ringers during the Red Kettle Campaign that precedes Christmas.

As earlier reported, volunteerism has increased in Grand Rapids, as more volunteers and volunteer groups have signed up to ring bells compared to the last two years. According to Auxiliary Captain Mika Roinila who coordinates the volunteer bell-ringing effort, The Salvation Army has registered 529 volunteer hours thus far in 2021. The total of registered volunteer hours in 2020 was 346 hours, and in 2019 it was 257 hours.

With the increase in volunteerism, the opportunity to meet and greet new bellringers is exciting. According to Roinila, “You never know what you may find out. For example, I am so impressed by the genuine interest that some volunteers show in getting involved. We have a GVSU student volunteer from Tunisia who has never seen snow. She has signed up to ring for 24 hours at a local store. We have a grandmother who is excited to be ringing bells – and has signed up for 20 hours and she has done very well at her outdoor location! And we have a group of students and teachers who have signed up for a total of 16 hours in 8 days to ring bells at Woodland Mall. It’s wonderful to hear the experiences and stories of the bell ringers!”

Last Saturday was very busy with volunteer groups and everyone deserves a BIG THANK YOU. The Salvation Army is thankful to the assistance provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources who collected toys on Saturday at Cabela's that were then donated to The Salvation Army. We recognize the efforts of the many young boys from Cub Scout Pack 3283 who rang bells on Saturday at Sam's Club, and earned $347 in five hours! And we recognize The Salvation Army’s Grand Rapids Advisory Board members who volunteered to ring bells at two locations in Woodland Mall on Saturday. The group raised an impressive $1,800 in ten hours, that will go a long way in helping The Salvation Army Fulton Heights reach its goal!

The Golden Kettle competition continues, and several clubs have now participated. The latest standings are shared below with the amounts raised and hours served.

1)         Golden “K” Kiwanis Club - $2,038 in 30 hours.

2)         Kentwood Rotary Club - $1,351 in 22 hours.

3)         South Kent Rotary Club - $947 in 12 hours.

4)         Grand Rapids Kiwanis Club – $527 in 5 hours

With less than 10 days remaining, all clubs will make a final push in order to finish in first place. The last day to ring bells will be Christmas Eve, and the final results of the competition won't be available until the week after Christmas.

There is still time to get involved and to ring bells! If you are interested in volunteering for a few hours this Christmas season, visit https://www.registertoring.com to find a location, date, and time the fits you best! Thank you for helping us help others.

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