by Robin Gee
With their tingling bells and bright red donation kettles, the Salvation Army bell ringers are a reminder that the holiday season is also the “giving season,” a time when we reach into our hearts and our wallets to find ways to give just a little bit more for those in need in our community.
In Bellevue, bell ringers are stationed throughout the day at the Kroger store (53 6th Street) and The Party Source (95 Riviera Drive).
About thirteen bell ringers cover sixteen locations in Campbell and Boone counties. Money collected stays in our community to fund summer camp, after school and other youth programs; food and rent assistance and other support to area families.
Programs are run through the organization’s Newport Kentucky Community Center at 340 West 10th St. in Newport.
Finding enough people to staff the donation locations is a challenge, says Salvation Army Captain Dan Simco. Kettle locations are staffed by both paid and volunteer helpers who work for six weeks, running through December 24.
Both individual volunteers and groups are always needed for bell ringing. This year bell ringers have included groups from the Campbell County Rotary, the Optimists Club, the Women of Boone and Boone County High School. Sign up at the Salvation Army website to volunteer.
The Salvation Army has been helping those in need since 1865. The organization is first and foremost a church, started by a Methodist minister who wanted to help families in the slums of London.
“We serve about 200 people in our community every month providing service, social work and food,” says Captain Simco. “Driving us behind it all is our motto ‘Heart to God, Hand to Man.’ We are motivated by our love of God and our goal is to meet human need without discrimination.”