OPINION: Serving the community with a bell

Published 7:26 am Wednesday, December 1, 2021

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As we hurry from one store to the next, we are greeted with a familiar sound at this time of year reminding us Christmas is quickly approaching. The sound of a bell ringing.

Recently, I challenged everyone to ‘adopt’ a family and do for them what you wish you could do for 100 families. Maybe the challenge is not feasible with your budget. We have all been hit hard financially over the last two years. But there are two ways you can still help others.

First, you can donate when you pass that red kettle.

Second, you could volunteer to be the bell ringer and help raise money to help a family in need.

Traditionally, volunteers raise more money as a bell ringer. It is also a way you can give back to the community and help those needing a hand up.

Two – four hours of your time is not much when you consider how much the Salvation Army can do with the funds raised through the Red Kettle season. Bell ringers are out there from Black Friday until Christmas Eve.

A visit to registertoring.com allows where one would like to volunteer, what day, and times. If a group wishes to coordinate times, each person can select the time they are available, making it easier to plan.

Checking the availability while writing this article, I discovered there were many time slots and locations available across the county.

For companies which want to do a little more, they can contact the Salvation Army concerning a sponsorship program where for a monetary donation, the company logo can be added to the signs for a day showing their support for the non-profit organization.

More importantly, any money donated in Orange County stays in Orange County. It stays right here to help families affected by a tornado during a storm, a house fire in the middle of the night, or the single parent trying to figure out how to make a dollar go a little further.

You can be a part of those helping those in need by volunteering your time this holiday season.

The Salvation Army began in England in 1852 by William Booth when he and his wife, Catherine, helped fight for the souls of lost men and women. Within 10 years of operating, their organization, known as “The Christian Mission”, had over 1,000 volunteers and evangelists. When Booth read a printer’s proof of the 1878 “Christian Mission” annual report, he noticed the statement “The Christian Mission is a volunteer army.” Crossing out the words “volunteer army,” he penned in “Salvation Army. From those words came the basis of the foundation deed of The Salvation Army.

In 1888, Adam Janelli came to America and settled in Dallas, Texas. One day, the rough citizens of the then frontier town, were startled when Janelli, wearing his Salvation Army uniform, began preaching on a downtown street corner. Every time he preached, people were finding Christ. Eager to get The Salvation Army established in Texas, Janelli wrote letters to General William Booth in London asking that Officers be sent to Texas. His letter barrage got so thick that the official word was given and The Salvation Army of Texas opened in 1889. Janelli gave both material and spiritual help to the poor and homeless, and to the people of Dallas, he became known as “Mr. Salvation Army.”

Salvation Army has also been first on the ground during times of disasters handing out cleaning supplies and other needed items including meals.

Right now, you have an opportunity to help them help others. Visit registertoring.com today and sign up to ring the bell.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at dawn.burleigh@orangeleader.com