Calling all volunteers: Salvation Army bell ringing season begins

Published 5:05 am Monday, December 13, 2021

Salvation Army red kettles are a Christmas staple throughout the community. The sound of bells ringing can be heard in front of department stores and grocery stores alike signaling a time for open-handed generosity.

The program began decades ago by a Salvation Army officer “just trying to raise money for his corp to take care of social service programs,” Lt. Tim Morrison, Salvation Army Lake Charles, said.

“Now, we ring bells worldwide.”

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Every day since late November, 12-15 bell ringers have dispersed throughout Moss Bluff, Lake Charles and Westlake giving shoppers the opportunity to spread the Christmas spirit through personal generosity. “And every bit of that money raised stays in Southwest Louisiana,” Morrison said.

The funds support the Salvation Army’s social programs, which include gas and electricity bill assistance, fuel for vehicles and outfitting the non-profit’s shelter which was badly damaged during Hurricane Laura and is now under construction.

“It’s a 50-bed shelter and the funds will help those folks staying there. Putting food on the table, paying staff to cook and manage … linens like sheets and towels. It keeps the lights on, the doors opens and people there to run it.”

Funds also support the Salvation Army’s group programs and courses designed to set clients up for long-term success like an Alcoholics Anonymous program, literacy and computer literacy programs and GED preparation courses.

“We really want to help people get back up on their feet,” he said.

Community members can join in on the Salvation Army’s efforts by volunteering as a bell ringer this holiday season. Bells ring six days a week 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Volunteers are requested to serve for a minimum of two hours, Morrison said. “But I try to help in any way I can and fit it into where people can volunteer.”

Fresh aprons and sanitized kettles and bells are provided at the site. Contactless donation methods are also available at the kettles using a QR code and several different electronic payment platforms, Morrison said.

Volunteer opportunities with the Salvation Army red kettles will continue until 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve. For more information or to volunteer email or call 721-8068.