Programs That Help


Bell Ringing
Angel Tree
If it’s outdoors, you should check the weather before you get going.  You’ll want to wear warm clothing and warm shoes or boots, since standing outside on the sidewalk will always be cold on your feet.  You should also know where your bell ringing location is and if it will be windy that day.  Some bell ringing sites can be cold, depending on the direction of the wind.
Our driver will deliver the kettle and supplies to you, or if there is already a volunteer ringing, you will be taking over from that person, so the kettle remains locked on the stand, and the other volunteer turns over the bell and apron to you.

Although it's mostly common sense and good manners, there are a few hints that will help you be a great bell ringer.

When ringing, stay near the kettle—it’s okay to move around a little bit, but people can feel intimidated if you approach them.  Do not move the kettle stand.  It should be positioned just to the side of the entrance—the kettle, and you, should be close enough to be easily, but should not cause shoppers to detour around the kettle to enter the store.  If you’re unsure of the location, ask the store manager.
Be cheerful.  Look at the people coming toward you and make eye contact.  Once you do, smile and greet them.  "Merry Christmas" is preferred, although any pleasant greeting will do.  Some people may be busy or preoccupied.  If you greet them and they look away, continue on to the next person. Don't try to force a reply from them.  If people reply to your greeting, feel free to continue the conversation as they pass, but if they're in a hurry, don't try to prolong the conversation.  If they make a donation, thank them and wish them a Merry Christmas. 

No.  Always allow the person to place their donation in the kettle — don’t take money from the person.
Never follow anyone as they are walking past the kettle.  Don't try to make them feel guilty to get a donation.  (You don't know where they've been--they may have just made a donation at another kettle).
If your kettle is getting full, or you have any questions or problems, call the number on the kettle bag 402-898-5936 or 402-898-6000.  
You should not leave the kettle unattended.  But if you need a quick break, the kettle is locked on the stand, and you can run into the store for a few minutes.  However, in case of emergency (family emergency, sickness, etc.), call the number on the kettle supply bag.  If you are ringing with a group, call your group point of contact, who can work to get another person from within your group to replace you.  As a very last resort, if you must leave immediately, call us immediately.  We will make arrangements to remove the kettle.

As an Angel Tree Host, you can promote the program with employees, customers, friends, or neighbors.

You can set up a Christmas Tree or display that features tags representing children’s gift items.

Encourage people to purchase a new Christmas gift for either a boy or girl ages 0 to 16.

We ask that toys are valued at approximately $10-$30 and not to exceed $40 in value.

Toys should be unwrapped.

Select a convenient date or deadline for people to bring in their gift(s). Toys will be picked up Dec 13-19 in order to get everything set up for distribution.


Gift Suggestions



Board games for all ages

Board games for all ages

Girls 0-2

Boys 0-2

Activity centers

Push & ride toys

Playskool play sets

Playskool play sets

Fisher Price toys

Fisher Price play sets

Farm/Animal play sets

Activity centers

Push & ride toys

Musical table

Baby gyms/play mats

Interactive Elmo (or other characters)



Girls 3–5

Boys 3-5

Baby doll, stroller, cradle, etc.

Helicopter/Rescue sets

Pillow Pets

Mega Blocks

Cabbage Patch doll/Baby Alive

Semi-truck carrying smaller cars

Food sets/tea sets

Car and trailer sets

Kitchen sets

“My First Craftsman” toy tools

Play tents/slumber sets

Fire trucks/Tonka trucks



Girls 6-8

Boys 6-8

Kitchen/ food or shopping cart play sets

Remote control cars/boats/dinosaurs

Beauty parlor styling heads

V-Tech child’s learning laptops

Large make-up/nail polish kits

Pirate ship/battleship toy sets

Easy Bake Oven

Train sets

Cupcake/Blizzard/Dippin’ Dots maker


Fur Real Animals

Play tents/slumber sets



Girls 9-12

Boys 9–12

Pottery wheels


Bead/jewelry making kits


Combination make-up kits

CD / MP3 / DVD player

Body pillow & fun print pillow case

Remote control cars, motorcycles, boats

Fashion design/Project Runway kits

Table top hockey

Lava lamp

Guitar or keyboard



Girls 13+

Boys 13+

Larger sized purses

Flannel pajamas and slippers

Pajama bottoms and slippers

Dart board

Bath and lotion gift sets


CD / MP3 / DVD player

CD / MP3 / DVD player

Combination make-up kits

Cologne sets



The variety of things you can do to help those in need through The Salvation Army is almost limitless. Please see the pages on Seasonal and Year-Round volunteer opportunities to review some examples. You may also wish to visit if you would prefer to be a bell ringer during the Christmas season.
Some positions require volunteers to be a minimum age, but other jobs can be done by youth or families that include young children. Minors must have a signed parental permission slip to participate.
Although applications may not always be required to participate (i.e. – if you showed up and signed in to take part once in a public project), it is best (and usually required) to complete a volunteer application form before serving. Such applications are typically brief and include contacts and in-case-of-emergency information. Most positions will also require applicants to submit to a background check to ensure the safety of other volunteers and the vulnerable populations such volunteers may be serving. Once completed, the application can be returned to The Salvation Army corps or community center from which you received it.
Of course! Volunteering in groups is a great way to strengthen bonds and build morale whether you are a member of a club or a corporation. Please contact one of the Volunteer Directors below to receive more information on behalf of your group.
Safety for all volunteers, staff, and clients is important to The Salvation Army, and many measures are taken to ensure this general well-being. Salvation Army officers and staff undergo extensive training in creating safe environments and supervising volunteers. Salvation Army facilities are designed with safety in mind. Potentially hazardous situations or environments are disclosed and made known as part of position descriptions whenever possible.