The Salvation Army bell ringing begins every year the day after Thanksgiving. This year is no different. Charlie Tratham of the Alton Freewill Baptist Church is heading up the scheduling of the ringing. He has taken the leadership of the bell ringing for several years.
When Is The Bell Ringing?
The bell ringing is from the day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday. The ringing continues until Christmas Eve. Each day ringers are out from 9:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. This continues six days a week; Sundays are off.
How To Sign Up?
The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to ring the bell. Local churches have sign up sheets to reserve times and dates. These are the churches in Alton, Missouri. However, Charlie does call the outlying churches to ask for volunteers. Nevertheless, anyone can volunteer to ring the bell. Simply contacting Charlie will set you in motion for a date and time to help out. Adults with a free hour or two can come to ring the bell. Families are welcome as well as senior citizens.
Where Does The Money Go?
Salvation Army takes only 15% of the funds received for their operating expenses. After that, Alton gets to keep the remaining donations. The ministerial alliance handles these funds. Of these donations, this past year 50% of donations were used for bills, like utilities, for local families. Other funds were given to the Alton Senior Center to purchase fans or heaters, depending on the weather. Harps cards were also given out. Meanwhile, the alliance gave the school funds for their back to school backpack program.