Mon.- Sat. 10:00am – 8:00pm 75 locations = 20,000 hours
How Do We Cover 20,000 Hours (39 Days) of Bell Ringing?
By Cathy Bell, Red Kettle Coordinator
The campaign to cover bell ringing hours begins in the summer when I contact volunteer groups and reach out to new volunteer groups. I work closely with our Advisory Board to engage their networks and referrals. This season, each Advisory Board member is helping us kick-off the campaign by personally ringing from 10am-12pm on Saturday, November 16th.
By using our database of volunteers, donors and newsletter contacts, a series of email campaigns are sent to contacts specifically asking them to ring the bell. Those that respond either adopt a day of ringing and cover the shifts themselves or reserve a two-hour shift. The shifts are booked through our scheduling software. Volunteer information is stored in a cloud based confirmation database which enables me to send confirmations and thank you’s to volunteers.
For this upcoming season, we have a few new opportunities that include bell ringing at four Blue Jacket games and the addition of Cabela’s as a key location in North Columbus. Kroger is an important partner to us representing over half of our locations and they are supporting us with a Kroger Day where their associates will cover the kettle for a day of ringing.
October is my busiest month of scheduling. I receive an influx of requests right after our Need Knows No Season luncheon and another burst once our campaign begins and people see and hear the bells! In November additional coordination includes working with the Officers on special requests, client relations with Kroger, logistics questions, and LOTS AND LOTS of emails, calls and questions from bell ringing groups.
My favorite part of this position is following up with the groups to thank them and let them know how much money they raised in donations. It also really fills me up each and every to hear volunteers’ stories of their experiences. Many are inspired by those who stop to give at a kettle and by those who take the time to share their personal stories.
Testimonies from people on how The Salvation Army has been there in their most difficult time of need, with clothing, food, toys and services move many of our volunteers. When these donors (previous clients) share that they feel blessed to give back, many of our bell ringers understand their place in the bigger picture of red kettles. They also have shared that they better understand the true value of their volunteer time. Many volunteers tell me that what they heard or saw will stay with them forever.
If you can help us cover even just two of our 20,000 hours, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org OR call 614.403-0404.