CUSTER COUNTY—Silver bells, jingle bells, Salvation Army bells! The holiday season will soon bring a familiar sound to the area, the sound of bell ringing. When you hear those bells ringing there is a good chance there will also be a red kettle nearby and volunteers donating their time to the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army of Custer County uses red kettle donations throughout the year to help with a wide variety of projects: Back-to-School Book Bag program, Swim Lessons, Food pantries, Children’s Christmas Fund, Prairie Pioneer Center, Diaper Depot, Weekend backpack programs, college textbooks for area foster students, book fairs, year-round support for individuals needing assistance with vision, dental, and prescription services, and many more.
Secretary Carol Allen reported that red kettle donations brought in $685 in 2004. Last year, more than $12,000 was collected and used to help individuals and organizations all across Custer County.
“Due to all the generosity of people helping us, we’ve been able to add projects and make projects better and help more people. So much thanks to everyone who has contributed,” Allen said.
Ninety percent of funds raised stay local in Custer County. There will be bell ringing stations at Shopko, Schmick’s, and Grocery Kart in Broken Bow. There will also be smaller counter kettles in Broken Bow, Callaway, Ansley, Arnold, Sargent, and Merna.
Every little bit helps the Salvation Army serve their communities, whether you donate some spare change, your time, or a larger donation. Chairman Julie Toline said volunteers can sign up for two-hour shifts between Friday, November 24 and Sunday, December 24. (Click here to sign up!)
“You know it’s a great opportunity for families or businesses or groups. We’ve had youth groups from churches ring bells and it’s really a lot of fun,” Toline said.
Custer County, let’s keep this 128-year-old tradition going this holiday season. (Santa hats and caroling are encouraged but definitely not required as part of the Salvation Army red kettle bell ringing program.)
To register for Salvation Army Bell Ringing, call
Cheryl Smith: 308-872-0044
Carol Allen: 308-870-4397