Paige Jahnke and Olivia Mendez braved the cold and rang the bell for Salvation Army for a little bit last week.MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
Paige Jahnke and Olivia Mendez braved the cold and rang the bell for Salvation Army for a little bit last week.MARLENE DESCHLER/SPRING GROVE HERALD

"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!" The holidays wouldn't be complete without hearing, humming, or singing this song. In addition to this song, bells will be heard in many places throughout the holidays - on Santa hats, in other songs, and in the hands of volunteers standing near the red kettles of the Salvation Army. These Salvation Army bells ring as a reminder of the need of many in our area as well as all across the United States.

The Houston County chapter of the Salvation Army will be ringing bells this holiday season as a way to draw attention to their request for donations. Their red kettles will be at different locations throughout the county. Locally, volunteers will be ringing the bell at Red's Hometown Market on Friday, Dec. 13, and Saturday, Dec 14, and Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21.

"We are still taking volunteers to ring the bell here. People can ring for as long or as little as they would like. All help is appreciated," said Mary Zaffke, Salvation Army member. "Anyone interested in volunteering can contact me. We can ring more than just weekends, if anyone is interested in doing it after school that is possible, too!"

Volunteers will also be ringing bells for the Salvation Army in Caledonia, Houston, and La Crescent. The monies that are donated in the kettles up to $3,000 are kept and used in Houston County, any amount over that goes to the Salvation Army in Greater, MN.

The money that is kept locally is used in different ways throughout the year to help fund need requests that can't be met with money from any other group in the county.

"There are a lot of resources available in the county for people to use, but sometimes there is a need that just doesn't fit into one of these services and in those cases it is nice to have this extra source of money to be able to use to help people," Zaffke explained.

If anyone is interested in volunteering as a bell ringer, they can contact Zaffke at (507) 498-5823. "If you see a ringer, whether here in Spring Grove, or other places, tell them thank you for ringing. They are all volunteers. Thanks to Pat Longmire of Red's Hometown Market for sharing the space for ringing again this year in Spring Grove," added Zaffke.