Tis the season for bell ringing

There are things that are synonymous with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.  Family gatherings, turkey for dinner on Thanksgiving, parades, shopping, Christmas carols, movies, decorations and of course the appearance of Santa Claus.  Also, the season would not be complete without the sound of a small single bell ringing and the appearance of a red kettle. 

 In 1891, Captain Joseph McFee of the Salvation Army hoped to provide Christmas meals for over 1,000 people in San Francisco.  Placing a pot on Oakland’s docks, the proceeds raised fed thousands.  From that singular act of compassion, during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, bell ringers and red kettles can now be found in thousands of locations, nationwide, raising the much needed money to help those in need.

 In Rogers County, bell ringers and red kettles will be at Claremore Reasor’s, WalMart and 10Box.  In Catoosa at Walmart and Reasor’s, in Inola at Harps and in Oologah at Apple Market

 The goal this year is $90,000.  Money raised, helps meet the critical needs of our neighbors in Rogers County.  Needs include ensuring Rogers County students have meals for the weekend, sending kids to summer camp for free, and providing emergency shelter, food, groceries, utilities, medicine and fuel to families through the Community Action office.

 All of this is made possible starting with the single sound of a bell and the generosity of a donor.

 “There are two reasons why the Red Kettle Drive is successful”, said Jerry Hayes, Event Manager.  “One is the area churches, civic groups and businesses who provide the volunteers needed for the hundreds of hours that bell ringing will take place.  The other is the generosity of the those who donate their money in the red kettles.  Without either, it wouldn’t continue to be a success.” 

 “Claremore Seventh-day Adventist Church participated in the Salvation Army Bell Ringing fundraiser last year and all who participated expressed that they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Even the kids from our church school, Heritage Adventist School, participated and had a fun time taking turns ringing the bell. After last year, I have had many inquiries from my congregation about when we will be participating in the Salvation Army fundraiser again. It was a no-brainer for our church to participate in the fundraiser again this year. As a pastor, one of the most rewarding things is seeing people find fulfillment in selfless service for our community.” - Pastor Nathan Shires, Claremore Seventh-Day Adventist Church

 As you rush to find that perfect gift and supplies for your holiday family gathering, when you hear the bell and see the bell ringers and red kettle, take a moment and let it remind you how fortunate you are.  The change you give could make the critical difference in one of our neighbor’s lives.

 If you aren’t going to be able to go and donate in person at one of the kettles, there is another way you can become a contributor.  Consider sending a donation to the Rogers County Salvation  Army at PO Box 2728, Claremore, OK 74018.

From Captain McFee’s act of kindness in 1891 to today, everything is made possible with the generosity of a donor wanting to help their neighbor in need.Submitted by Salvation Army

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