When I was in high school, my government teacher, Lori Coghill Thurman always encouraged us to volunteer as bell ringers for the Salvation Army at Christmas time. My friends and I were all involved in the community, but I'm pretty sure we were bribed with extra credit or National Honor Society volunteer hours to stand out in the cold trying to convince people to donate their spare change.

Once I spent the first evening outside of the K-Mart in Wesleyan Park Plaza (may she rest in peace) I had such a good time, that I signed up for another shift. My theatre friends and I got together and performed for everyone doing their holiday shopping. We sang, danced, told jokes, and racked up donations in our red bucket. We had fun and felt good about being able to help people in our community.

Funds raised for the Salvation Army help with all sorts of things like emergency disaster response, providing housing assistance, and fighting food insecurity with pantries and weekly meals.

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During Christmas time, the Salvation Army kicks into full North Pole mode. Their website states,

"Our Christmas Ministry looks to serve the community by ensuring everyone is able to enjoy a time of joy and peace during the holiday season.  We want to empower families who find themselves unable to afford meals and other activities due to tough economic difficulties.  The families we serve include those with children in the local school systems and those with an incarcerated parent. Our Angel Tree Program is for Angels 0–12. Holiday food assistance is available for individuals and families who do not qualify for Angel Tree."

Ringing the Red Bucket Bell is the perfect way for you and your family to give back this holiday season. Bundle up and spend some quality time spreading Christmas cheer in Owensboro. It's great for teens to get some volunteer hours in too. The Owensboro Salvation Army Office also offers pay for individuals who apply for day or half-day shifts. It would be a good way to make some extra moolah for the Holidays.

If this sounds like something you'd like to do, just give them a call at 270-685-5576 for details. You can also follow them on Facebook or stop by their office at 215 S Ewing Rd, Owensboro, KY 42301.

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Gallery Credit: Aine Givens