Updated: September 30, 2022
While the bell ringers are back and ringing a welcome return of a seasonal ritual, the call for help and the offer of hope to those less fortunate has never changed.
In fact, it has never been more urgent, according to Capt. Steven J. Howard, Maui County Coordinator & Corps Officer, Salvation Army, Kahului Corps.
The Salvation Army is attempting to fulfill its pledge of “doing the most good.”
“While we are fortunate to have returned to the same number of collection spots in Maui County that we had in 2019, the starting date for ringing at some locations was a week or so later than usual. Also, we’ve been struggling to find enough bell ringers,” Howard said.
Howard said kettle donations were down a bit .
“Our Maui community is very generous and we have seen great support for our Angel Tree and Red Kettle Campaign this year,” he noted.
The Angel Tree Program provides Christmas for children ages 0 to 12 years old and seniors 65 and older who otherwise would not receive any gifts at Christmas. It began in Lynchburg, VA in 1979 and quickly spread around the nation.
“While we’ve been fortunate to receive enough gifts for our Angel Tree, our Red Kettle donations are at only 67% of our goal with only six days left in the campaign.” Howard said “any amount will help as we get ready to close out our 2021 Red Kettle season.”
The Salvation Army, a Christian, non-discriminatory organization was founded in 1865.
“As many people continue to struggle with the impacts of pandemic poverty, the Salvation Army is calling on the community to help our local neighbors with life’s essentials such as keeping a roof overhead, staying on track with utility bills and having enough to eat,” he said.
“In Maui County specifically, the Salvation Army continues to provide outreach services to those experiencing homelessness through our Mobile Care-A-Van program and Drop-In Centers. And, through our Family Services Offices, we continue to support struggling families by providing food assistance and emergency rent and utility support.”
Howard said social services organizations like the Salvation Army have worked tirelessly to provide help and hope since the pandemic started, but needs are increasing again this holiday season due to the lifting of eviction moratoriums and continued effects of the pandemic.
Howard said many of the bell ringers come from the various programs the Salvation Army offers, as well as external postings and Indeed, a job site.
He said volunteer positions, such as bell ringers, can be found online at Maui.SalvationArmy.org.
Kainoa Henao is the bell ringer in front of Pukalani Superette. He is unfailingly hopeful, cheerful and devout.
“I am glad to be back doing it. It’s all about faith and doing the most good.”
The Salvation Army is best known for its charity shops, homeless shelters, soup kitchen and disaster relief efforts.
There are nine collection kettles on Maui and two on Molokaʻi.
- Kahului Walmart
- Pukalani Superette
- Safeway stores including Maui Lani, Hoʻokele, Piʻikea and Honapiʻialani
- Walgreens including Kahului, Lahaina and Waiiluku.
- Friendly Market Center, Molokaʻi
- Misaki’s Grocery Molokaʻi
According to its Website, The Salvation Army assists 30 million Americans annually. It has 1.8 million members, officers, soldiers and adherents and can be found globally in 131 countries.