Photo above: Steve Pinckney has volunteered his time to Ring the Bells as part of his ministry work with the Salvation Army Corps.
San Bernardino, Calif. – On November 18, The Salvation Army Corps of San Bernardino begins its annual “Red Kettle” Bell Ringing Campaign. Bell Ringers at the familiar Red Kettles seek donations from local residents to help local families in need during this holiday season. The volunteers will Ring the Bells at local locations including: Walmart, Inland Center Mall, Stater Bros. Markets, JCPenny, Walgreens, Macy’s, Sam’s Club, Ralphs and more.
[ecko_quote source=”Major Daniel Henderson. “]Our goal is to raise $150,000 this year to help families have a Happy Christmas and to house the homeless, feed the hungry, and provide hope to the hopeless.[/ecko_quote]
“This is our major fundraiser for the year. Last year we raised about $100,000 during the holiday season. We are looking for volunteers to Ring the Bells and raise money for The Salvation Army to help the needy this holiday season,” said Major Henderson. “When volunteers ‘Ring the Bells’ it increases the amount of money The Salvation Army has to help people in need.”
The Salvation Army is inviting Inland Empire colleges, universities, social clubs, service groups, elected officials, singers, bands, local actors, clubs and companies to Ring the Bells at local retail stores. People are signing up to help.
President Tomas Morales of California State University, San Bernardino and President Matthew Madrid of The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire are asking their students, staff and faculty to join the effort to Ring the Bells and help our local people in need.
“Assemblymember Cheryl Brown along with San Bernardino City Councilmember John Valdivia are the first elected officials who have volunteered to Ring the Bells this holiday season,” said Major Henderson. Stater Bros. Markets, Under Armour and Target are also providing volunteers.
Festively-dressed volunteers ringing bells will be deployed to retail outlets in San Bernardino, Grand Terrace, Highland, Colton, Rialto and Bloomington. “Some sing, some dance, some play instruments and some just use their wonderful smiles and the familiar silver bells to attract donations,” said Major Henderson.
The tradition of The Salvation Army “Kettle” during the Christmas Holidays was started in 1891 in San Francisco, by Captain Joseph McFee, in an effort to collect enough money to provide a free Christmas dinner to the poor. Now the tradition has spread worldwide. It has been in San Bernardino since its early years.
Donations collected during the Christmas kettle campaign in San Bernardino are used to provide food baskets and other essential during the Christmas season. Donations are also used by The Salvation Army throughout the year to provide emergency services including food; lodging for homeless or displaced families; clothing and furniture; children’s afterschool and summer camp programs, assistance with rent or mortgage and transportation when funds are available.
The Salvation Army also needs donations of toys for children’s Christmas gifts, along with turkeys, hams, stuffing, canned goods, vegetables, pies, cakes and other food for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and food baskets.
To volunteer, or if companies who want to donate the staffing of a location to Ring the Bells and help the needy this holiday season, call Lt. Cathie McCulley at The San Bernardino Salvation Army at (909) 888-1336.