By Annie Dockery, The Belton Journal
Led by our fearless cheerleader and ad manager, Susan Gibson, our Belton Journal clan signed up for a day of volunteering. We became Salvation Army Bell Ringers for an hour-long shift each outside of Belton Walmart.
There were numerous types of people that came in and went out of Walmart as we stood there ringing our bells. Some of the passersby greeted us cheerfully and a few others tried to pretend that they didn’t see us (I have to admit that I have done that before) even going as far as to walk in the door.
Although this was a volunteer experience for us, for some, like Tori Beaudry, it is a temporary job.
Beaudry and her 16-year-old son are a Salvation Army bell ringers.
“Normally we just volunteer to ring the bells, but this year we actually had to apply because we just moved here from another state. Everybody is trying to find jobs at my house. Times are really hard right now so unfortunately this time I couldn’t just volunteer because we really, really need the money. I wasn’t even going to be able to do Christmas this year.”
Beaudry enjoys being a bell ringer.
“I love it, meeting the people, talking to the people. I get to do something for other families that are like mine. I love Christmas.”
The Red Kettle Christmas Campaign enables The Salvation Army to provide food, toys and clothing to over 6 million people during the Christmas season and helps more than 34 million Americans recovering from all kinds of personal disasters nationwide.
According to ringbells.com the Red Kettle campaign first started in San Francisco in 1891 and has traditionally been the Salvation Army’s most prominent fund-raiser.
Each year since 2001,VolunteerFIRST™ has teamed up with many Salvation Army Corps to make it possible for volunteers to register online for up to one million Red Kettle ‘shifts’ across the country.
This company venture has been a positive and bonding experience for our little group. By no means was it a pat-ourselves-on-the-back experience, but felt more like a fun field trip that might have benefit us even more than the people that will receive the fruits of our meager labors.