The Rapidian

Grand Rapids Salvation Army needs more volunteers to help ring bells

The Salvation Army needs more volunteers to man kettles. Only a portion of kettles have coverage, leaving many locations looking bleak.
Help needed! The Farmer's Market has no coverage on Saturdays.

Help needed! The Farmer's Market has no coverage on Saturdays. /Mika Roinila

Underwriting support from:

The Salvation Army needs more volunteer help. What can you do to help?

The Salvation Army needs more volunteers to help ring bells throughout the city. Select shifts online at www.registertoring.com and help the organization reach it's $1.6 million goal! Only two weeks remain, and every day counts!

A lonely kettle stands in front of a Walgreens drugstore.

A lonely kettle stands in front of a Walgreens drugstore. /Mika Roinila

In the past weeks, readers may have seen several lonely Salvation Army kettles in various Grand Rapids locations without a bell ringer. This seems to be a noticeable element in the local landscape, and is worrisome to observers. The Grand Rapids Salvation Army is seeking volunteers to push through to the finish as the Red Christmas Campaign begins its last two weeks of fundraising.

"First of all, I want to thank the many people, service clubs, student groups and all who have helped us thus far, but we really need more help than what we’ve received. People help on the weekends, but there are just too many weekdays when we have no volunteer help at all" says Auxiliary Captain Mika Roinila, who directs the Red Kettle Campaign efforts for 31 kettle locations north of 28th Street. Under his watch, a total of 11,200 volunteer hours are available in order to complete the bell-ringing campaign. Readers will be surprised to learn that volunteers have signed up to serve a mere 255 hours - or only 2% of the total hours needed to complete the campaign. Seasonally employed bell ringers complete the majority of bell ringing for the campaign, but more volunteers would make a definite impact to the overall efforts.

The newly established “Golden Kettle” award is up for grabs, as service clubs are poised to continue their efforts to claim the prize in the kettle campaign that ends on Dec.24. Next weekend looks to be a little busier as several clubs have already booked shifts to ring at Woodland Mall and Family Fare Grocery on Northland Drive, but more is possible. “Service clubs should really think about ringing outdoors. Walmart doesn’t have any groups ringing at their stores, and customers would be generous if they see volunteers at those locations!” adds Roinila.

The Salvation Army maintains over 60 kettle locations throughout Grand Rapids. The Salvation Army asks area residents willing to spend two hours in support of the Army’s mission to meet human needs without discrimination by signing up as soon as possible at www.registertoring.com

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.

Browse