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Dec 2, 2022

The Sound of Christmas: The Salvation Army Kettle Appeal Bell

Sabreena Daly continued her search for a bright side this holiday season and found it in the works of people we walk pass in the month of December. They’re stationed at different locations all over the country. You might hear them before you see them, but the moment you hear the Kettle Appeal Bell of the Salvation Army, it’s a signal that Christmas is here and one of the reasons for the season is to share.


Sabreena Daly, Reporting

The sound of Christmas is synonymous with the ringing of the Salvation Army’s Kettle Appeal bell. For some, that distinct chime means that it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit.  It’s also a petition to give to the disadvantaged during the season. It’s a fundraiser for the international organization and is considered the primary activity that generates proceeds for Christmas and a startup for the New Year.  Volunteers are stationed over the city, working in shifts of four hours. Some starting as early as eight in the morning, and some leaving that same time in the night.

Vernice Reynolds-Jex

Vernice Reynolds-Jex, Kettle Appeal Bell Volunteer
I look forward to this time of the year so that I can get out here. I meet so many of my friends at this time because they would come into the stores. It’s such a happy feeling to be able to share with them the joy of Christmas.”


The volunteers are a big part of the movement. Young and old give of their time during the holidays for the sake of persons in need.  But this act of service is a labor of love for the religious organization and some have been doing it for many years.

Elaine Young

Elaine Young, Kettle Appeal Bell Volunteer
I have been doing this for about thirty years or more. I love to come out here and do this because I said this is for the good of Jesus because Jesus go out and give to others so this is my part of doing the part of Jesus part.”

Major Johnathan Kellman

Major Johnathan Kellman, Salvation Army District Commander

So, for the Christmas appeal in Belize, specifically, every year we have a lunch treat for thirty children from twenty primary schools in Belize City at Holy Redeemer which will be next week on the eighth. We also distribute food hampers to about eight hundred families. We should be doing that on the twenty-first but scattered across various locations across the country.  I know that we are an international organization but the only time we get funding internationally is if there is a national disaster. Every Salvation Army location has to raise their funds locally. So, I encourage people when they are thinking about writing that check, making that contribution, think about how far this contribution will go. A hamper costs about forty to forty-five dollars and we are going to give out about eight hundred of them.”


One kettle appeal volunteer that understands this process is retired Salvation Army Major, Sheila Robateau. She has given over four decades of her life in service to others and, even in retirement, has offered a helping hand this Christmas season.

Sheila Robateau

Sheila Robateau, Kettle Appeal Bell Volunteer
A lot of Belizeans know the value of getting a parcel and this helps us to be able to do that. There’s also the children’s dinner, it might take a little form this year but the children are not forgotten I see there is a need for that. It might not be for a long time during the Christmas season, but sufficient to make a little extra and the money we get here doesn’t only supply things for Christmas but right through the year. Every month, mostly elderly come and get a food parcel and they appreciate it a whole lot. Coming here to do this, I might not be as strong as I used to be but it’s a help. We need people at the kettles and we need people to be able to give their time so here I am with the little time I have and strength to help.”


Ruby Rhaburn is one of the newest Kettle Bell ringers. Our meeting found her pulling an eight-hour shift, but her enthusiasm to be a part of this institution and its impact would leave you wanting to accompany her. For Rhaburn, it’s the purpose of this cause, but as simple as being the bell ringer comes with a sense of pride.

Ruby Rhaburn

Ruby Rhaburn, Kettle Appeal Bell Volunteer
“I’m a member of the Salvation Army women’s group for over twenty plus years and I see my friends them all doing it so I said mek I tek a try and now I love it.”



“What do you love about it?”


Ruby Rhaburn

“Just ringing the bell, ringing the bell. But when you see the little kids come and put the money in the kettle, Oh, my God, it inspires me a lot.”



“And today is a unique day because your shift is all day today. What is it like sitting here from eight to four? Don’t you get bored?”


Ruby Rhaburn

“No, I’m ringing the bell. Sometimes I don’t even know I’m ringing the bell. I say gyal yuh di ring da bell stop it and ah put it down.”



“What does it mean to put money in the Kettle?”


Ruby Rhaburn

“Man, I feel like it’s just love, giving caring and sharing, because you know the money they put in this kettle, they are going to give someone else in need.”


Looking on the Bright Side, I’m Sabreena Daly.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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