BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor Salvation Army is asking community-minded groups to consider supporting their neighbors this holiday season by ringing the bells at a Christmas kettle for a day.
Funds raised through the kettle effort support the Army’s year-round services to the community, such as the Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen, clothing for needy families, food baskets for those who are hungry, fuel assistance and much more.
“Bell-ringing is a fun way for groups to give back to the community,” said Capt. Tim Clark, corps officer of The Salvation Army in Bangor. “It gives group members the opportunity to do something practical, but also allows them to see the overwhelming generosity and Christmas spirit expressed by their neighbors. At the same time, it is a visible way for the community to see that the group cares for those in need.”
Groups can take any form — service clubs, school clubs, church groups, co-workers in an office, student groups, a medical or dental practice, family members, a group of friends, a knitting circle, an auxiliary group, a veterans group. The possibilities are endless.
A group can decide which day to ring the bells, Tuesday through Saturday, and the Army’s kettle coordinator will let them know which stores are available. Then the group can organize their members in shifts throughout the day, working alone or in pairs or whatever way works best for them.
“I’ve had groups tell me that after talking with people who donate to the kettle, they had a whole new perspective on the community in which they live. Some groups felt so satisfied with the experience that they wanted to ring again for an extra day,” Clark said.
Groups that have helped in the past include service clubs such as Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions, bank employees, school choirs, business associations, firefighters, families and a range of others.
“During the holiday season, people are looking for opportunities to serve,” said Clark. “Ringing the bells is like an investment in the future needs of our community, because the funds raised in December will help a family with heat in January, it will provide a meal in our soup kitchen in March, it will provide a food basket for a family in May, it will help send a child to summer camp in July, it will provide clothing for an individual in September.”
For more information or to sign up, call kettle coordinator Dan Larcombe at 941-2990, or email BangorME_NNECorps@use.salvationarmy.org.