As the holiday season approaches, The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands is gearing up to address the growing needs of our communities, exacerbated by the aftermath of the devastating Maui wildfires. The organization is now calling upon compassionate individuals to join its cause as volunteer bell ringers for the upcoming 2023 Statewide Red Kettle Campaign.
This iconic campaign that has been around for over 130 years, seeks to mobilize volunteers to oversee the signature Red Kettles placed throughout the islands during November and December. The primary objective is to raise essential funds to support The Salvation Army’s vital services to meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of individuals, keiki, kupuna and families throughout the year.
“Amidst the ongoing challenges our islands have endured initially brought on by the pandemic and compounded by the impact of the recent Maui wildfires on an already weakened economy, we anticipate that the needs of our local communities will be greater than ever this holiday season and well into 2024,” said Major Troy Trimmer, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division. “Our Red Kettle Campaign is a cornerstone of our fundraising efforts, and the more volunteers we can rally, the more kettles we can place throughout Hawaii. This enables us to expand our social service initiatives that directly benefit our local communities, including support for those impacted by the Maui wildfires. It’s crucial to remember that all funds raised within these Red Kettles stay right here in our Hawaiʻi, in the specific communities where they are raised.”
In addition to this important initiative, The Salvation Army is also actively engaged in providing assistance to those affected by the recent wildfires in Maui. As the community seeks to heal and be restored, The Salvation Army has extended a helping hand by providing direct financial assistance and offering spiritual and emotional care to survivors.
Duties for bell ringer volunteers include staffing a Red Kettle, ringing the familiar bell, wishing shoppers a joyous holiday season, among other duties. Volunteers sign up as individuals, but can consider bringing co-workers, friends and family along for the festivities.
The campaign has seen a consistent influx of returning volunteers, such as Matthew, who has selflessly dedicated 49 years as a bell ringer with The Salvation Army on Maui. His journey began in 1974 when his friend and former Advisory Board Member, Clarence Kamai, introduced him to the art of bell ringing and the joy of sharing the spirit of Christmas through music. Matthew and Clarence strummed the strings of their instruments – guitar and ʻukulele – as they collected donations for The Salvation Army during the holiday season. Matthew said, “Music is my passion, and I love sharing it with others.”
To explore current volunteer opportunities like being a bell ringer, visit Hawaii.SalvationArmy.org. Simply click on the “Volunteer” button located in the top left corner of the webpage.