It’s that time of year, shops are bustling, there are presents to be bought, and bells are ringing. You may see them at the super market, or in the mall, but odds are you’ve definitely seen them. You may be wondering what we’re talking about, we mean the Salvation Army bell ringers of course! It’s hard to miss their cheerful smiles and jingling bells when you’re leaving the store, they have become a staple of the holiday season, signifying the time of year when we help those that may not be as fortunate as ourselves, every little bit truly makes a difference!
If you’re not familiar with how they got started, they were founded in 1865 in the East End of London, and have sought to help suffering neighbors and anyone who has fallen on hard times ever since. They have been providing no-questions-asked, no-obligation help to those in crisis for the past 150 years, and do not plan on stopping! Whether it’s someone in need of financial assistance, someone battling addiction, or someone who’s just lost their home due to tragedy, they will always have a place to go for help as long as the Salvation Army is around. Some of the services they offer include emergency disaster services, rent & utility assistance, case management, and they also combat hunger as many people do not always know where their next meal is coming from.
Beyond serving these basic needs, they also offer many other programs including childcare, character-building programs, music & arts instruction, summer camps, after-school programs, senior programs, skill development, and so much more. They are always adapting and seeking out those with the greatest needs in the communities they serve. Why do they do what they do you may ask? In the words of their fourth general, Evangeline Booth, they believe that “There is no reward equal to doing the most good to the people in the most need”. This rings true year-round, but especially during the holiday season.
If you’re wondering how you can help this wonderful cause, one of the easiest ways is by donating to their cause when you see them out and about this holiday season. Not only do the individuals receiving the assistance appreciate it, but the volunteers who are sitting out in the cold ringing the bell love seeing the difference that their efforts make. Another way to help is by making a donation online, which will be used to help transform the lives of the recipients of their care year-round. They are also trying something new this year to help raise funds, they are selling calendars featuring artwork done by artists from the Greater Lowell area! We have seen them and we can attest to how beautiful they are, and you can buy one right here in our office. They cost $15 each and are a perfect gift for someone on your shopping list, or even for yourself! This time of year is the perfect time to reflect on what you’re grateful for, odds are there are many people that are not as fortunate, which is why we hope you’ll consider donating next time you see the red kettle and hear the jingle of bells, it truly does make a difference and helps give families a happy holiday!