It may be a bit early for Christmas but it's never too early to be helpful.

A staple of the holiday season for folks everywhere are the Salvation Army bell ringers. You'll see them at the door at our local Hy-Vees, various stores, and at community events this winter. They're truly a sign of the season and some will even brave the cold to help the Salvation Army.


The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign is iconic and started in 1891 when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to help poverty-stricken folks in San Francisco enjoy a free holiday meal. He put a kettle on Market Street and labeled it 'Keep The Pot Boiling' and that helped him fund his mission to provide free holiday meals to the poor.

Volunteer To Be A Bell Ringer

Fast forward to now, even though Christmas is nearly 2 months out, you can volunteer to be a Salvation Army Bell Ringer for this season. The Salvation Army's Register To Ring page is open and taking applications for individual, group, or even virtual ringers to help their Red Kettle campaign.

There will be dozens of Red Kettle locations around the area this month and next. If you want to be a bell ringer, you can pick which store is closest to you and whatever time works best for you. You can sign up to be a bell ringer here.

If you need help from the Salvation Army this holiday season, call (319) 364-9131 for the Cedar Rapids Salvation Army or (319) 235-9358 for the Salvation Army of Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

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