Bells will be ringing for people in need

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 10, 2000

Features Editor

Red kettles and bell ringers are Christmas traditions.

Very few people pass the bell ringers without dropping something in the kettle. After all, it is the season of giving. Nickels and dimes add up and make Christmas, and the rest of the year, much brighter for the many who are assisted by the Salvation Army.

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Nov. 14 will mark the beginning of the Christmas season for the Salvation Army. Bell ringers will beckon beside the red kettles and, hopefully, passersby will be especially generous this year.

Cindy Duke, director of the Salvation Army Service Center in Troy, said last year’s kettle donations totaled more than $13,000.

"The response was very generous and made it possible for us to assist many more people, especially the elderly and children," she said. "As more people begin to realize the money that is donated in Pike County stays right here to help those in our area, they seem to give more readily. We are optimistic that 2000 will be the biggest year ever for our kettle donations."

For that to happen, the bells must ring.

The Salvation Army will be ringing bells from Nov. 14 through Dec. 24 and that means there is a great need for bell ringers. And the call for volunteers has gone out.

"We are asking clubs, organizations, groups and individuals to set dates they want so we can get our schedule made out," Duke said. "The earlier we are contacted,

the better chance we have of matching dates with requests."

Betty McGilvray is coordinator for this year’s bell ringing corps and the number to call is 566-7856.

"Betty is doing a great job coordinating the bell ringers and it will be helpful to her to have more volunteers than she needs to cover the hours the bells will be ringing," Duke said.

Sigma Chi Fraternity at Troy State University has pledged its support to the bell ringing campaign and Duke said she and McGilvray are counting on other fraternities and sororities to be bell ringers.

"We appreciate the support of all the groups and individuals who volunteer to be a part of this Christmas tradition," Duke said. "Sometimes we wonder what we can do to help our fellow man. Being a bell ringer is certainly one way."

The money that is donated through the kettle campaign goes a long way.

"Through the United Way Food Bank, the local Salvation Army is able to feed a large number of people for a relatively few dollars," Duke said. "We make the best use of every dollar we take in. The money that is dropped in a kettle helps someone in our community. Sharing is caring. And, it starts with the ringing of bells."

Duke encourages everyone to make someone’s life a little better this holiday season. Be a volunteer bell ringer.