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Vancouver Salvation Army seeking bell ringers this winter

Paid and volunteer positions available with Salvation Army bell ringers

VANCOUVER — The Vancouver Corps of the Salvation Army is in need of for-hire and volunteer bell ringers during its winter fundraising program.

It’s hard to miss the smiling faces ringing away next to bright red kettles if you go into just about any large story this winter, but this year the Salvation Army is in great need of more to work the stands.

Donald Schwartz rings the bell for the Salvation Army station in the front entrance of the Mill Plain Fred Meyer. As they pass, every customer receives a cordial, “Merry Christmas!” whether they stop to give or not. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Donald Schwartz rings the bell for the Salvation Army station in the front entrance of the Mill Plain Fred Meyer. As they pass, every customer receives a cordial, “Merry Christmas!” whether they stop to give or not. Photo by Jacob Granneman

With much of the funding for their food pantry, clothing room and housing assistance programs coming from bell ringing donations, the Vancouver Corps is eager to secure people to run the dozens of stations in the city.

“All of the things we do require money,” said Joe Lennington, the volunteer coordinator for the Vancouver Corps of the Salvation Army. “It’s all those nickels and dimes. The Salvation Army can’t do what we do without people volunteering.”

In Vancouver alone, the Salvation Army runs many outreach programs from funds raised by the bell ringers and volunteers. Besides food and clothing, they also maintain a disaster relief program and a partnership with the Evergreen School District to aid at risk students with a place to study, eat and bring their families.

The Salvation Army has fundraiser stations at nearly every large store in Vancouver. This year they are eager to have more volunteers join, so they can expand they’re community outreach programs. Photo by Jacob Granneman
The Salvation Army has fundraiser stations at nearly every large store in Vancouver. This year they are eager to have more volunteers join, so they can expand they’re community outreach programs. Photo by Jacob Granneman

In the future, there is also the possibility of a hygiene outreach center for homeless families.

Bell ringing stations are already operating at nearly all Vancouver Fred Meyer locations with most Safeways, several Walmarts, a Bi-Mart, both Albertsons, Walgreens, and Chuck’s Produce soon to follow.

While Salvation Army prefers volunteers to help the community, they also pay bell ringers minimum wage when they can, in an effort to support those who need work, Lennington said.

Salvation Army bell ringer, Donald Schwartz, sits smiling right inside the Fred Meyer off Chkalov and Mill Plain on a rainy afternoon before Thanksgiving. Photo by Jacob Granneman
Salvation Army bell ringer, Donald Schwartz, sits smiling right inside the Fred Meyer off Chkalov and Mill Plain on a rainy afternoon before Thanksgiving. Photo by Jacob Granneman

“If somebody rings the bell for the Salvation Army in front of a store for a few hours,” Lennington said, “When they’re done and they walk away, they’re gonna feel a whole lot better about their community than they felt when they started.”

If you would like more information or are interested in volunteering as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, contact Joe Lennington at (360) 448 2146, or by email at [email protected].  

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About The Author

Jacob Granneman is a filmmaker and writer from Clark County. He is a recent graduate of Washington State University’s Edward R. Murrow College, where he studied media production. He has produced documentary stories all over the Pacific Northwest and in Argentina. His passions range from loving people, to cinematography, to going on adventures in the most beautiful place on earth, i.e. his backyard. He lives with his wife in Vancouver, WA.

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