ST GEORGE — The Salvation Army is prepping to send out bell ringers starting Nov. 19, hailing in the Christmas season with a “soft start” before the day after Thanksgiving, when efforts will begin in earnest.
This 2021 season, shoppers will see bell ringers at various locations, including Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Smiths, Albertsons and Harmons from Nov. 19 through Dec. 24 — with the exception of Sundays and Thanksgiving Day.
Major Richard Greene, officer at the St. George Outpost, said that donations received during the Christmas season stay within Washington County and benefit those needing assistance in the form of holiday help, utility emergencies, emergency transportation and other ways, depending on case-by-case circumstances.
Aside from chasing down bell ringers, those wishing to donate time or money may visit StGeorgeRedKettle.org. On the landing page, there is a donate button, and scrolling down allows users to sign up for various volunteer opportunities, including bell ringing.
Lastly, willing volunteers or donors may stop by The Salvation Army office at 803 S. Bluff St., in St. George, or call 435-275-4975. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, and 1-3:30 p.m.
Bell ringing began in United States in 1891. The Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee decided he was going to provide Christmas dinner to the poor in the area, but funding the feat was difficult and kept the captain up at night.
Captain McFee remembered a time when, in Liverpool, England, an iron “Simpsons Pot” was set out and passers-by would throw coins in to help the poor.
McFee put his pot out the next day, with a sign reading “Keep the Pot Boiling.” Six years later the idea had transformed and a nationwide effort set out pots at 150,000 locations.