WASILLA — Wasilla Walmart employees and local Salvation Army volunteers are ringing bells outside the store entrance, like it’s Christmas in July.
The iconic red kettles and rings of collection bells are familiar sights and sounds during the holiday season, but there’s a new tradition shoppers can expect each summer: Jingling in July.
Bell ringers will be collecting donations each weekend of the month to raise money for the Salvation Army’s operating fund.
Janet Kincaid and Linda Menard-Post are longtime Salvation Army volunteers and board members. You can see them each Saturday until this annual fundraiser wraps up.
“Every little drop helps,” Kincaid said.
Walmart employees ring on Fridays and the Salvation Army volunteers ring on Saturday, according to Kincaid.
“It always makes you good when people don’t just walk by… even if it’s just a quarter, especially kids it’s a lot of fun,” Kincaid said.
This statewide partnership with Walmart is in its second year. Kincaid said that she goes out every weekend to ring the bell because she believes in what the Salvation Army does for the community.
“People need help sometimes… That’s what we do, we lend a helping hand,” Kincaid said.
Kincaid said that she always sees glimmers of goodwill during her shifts. She said that she’s encouraged by people’s generosity.
“I know people are every generous… One person put a 100 bill in the kettle,” Kincaid said.
Menard-Post said that she likes to sing songs when she’s out collecting donations.
“… that’s just my personality,” Menard-Post said.
Menard-Post loves mingling with the community during her shifts. She said that during one of her shifts, she was singing away when a family with young children approached. She thought they were “adorable” and asked if she could take pictures with them and the family obliged.
She shared another anecdote in which a man approached her to tell her how much the Salvation Army helped his mother when she needed it. She said that he seemed feel compelled to tell her that.
“He was just so sincere… he just wanted me to know… it was enough to bring tears to my eyes,” Menard-Post said.
Menard-Post said the she loves to share those nice, feel-good stories straight from the community.
“I just feel I have persistent optimism… that we really are making a difference… I’ve always been involved with nonprofit that I believe in,” Menard-Post said.
For more information or to register to ring the bell, call 907-745-7079 or visit mat-suvalley.salvationarmy.org
Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at firstname.lastname@example.org