Photo provided by the Salvation Army of Metro Detroit

Salvation Army seeks bell-ringers for holidays

By: Brendan Losinski | Metro | Published November 8, 2023


METRO DETROIT — The holiday season is upon us, and that means that the sound of Salvation Army bell-ringers won’t be far behind.

The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit is seeking volunteer bell-ringers for the 2023 Red Kettle Christmas Campaign. The nonprofit requests the community’s support to help meet its $7.9 million fundraising goal.

Each year, thousands of collection buckets are positioned in and around businesses to raise funds for those in need — and each is accompanied by The Salvation Army’s signature bell-ringers. The organization hopes to fill more than 50,000 hours of bell-ringing shifts across hundreds of kettle locations throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Individuals and families can sign up as volunteer bell-ringers by visiting, where they have an option to choose a traditional, two-hour session at a physical red kettle site or participate in a virtual bell-ringing shift where they can raise funds in the comfort of their own home. Virtual bell-ringers can sign up and begin raising funds at any time, whereas traditional bell-ringing begins on Friday, Nov. 10, and runs through Christmas Eve, excluding Thanksgiving and Sundays.

“Our volunteer bell-ringers are the unsung heroes of the holiday season, making the season brighter for those in need across metro Detroit,” Maj. Toni Dorrell, general secretary and metro Detroit area commander, said in a press release. “Our volunteers transform an unmanned kettle into one that raises the funds needed to meet the goal of the Christmas campaign.”

The Salvation Army is committed to providing after-school programs, emergency disaster services, substance abuse treatment and free legal aid for families and individuals throughout metro Detroit, including more than 2.4 million meals and more than 530,000 nights of shelter each year.

The iconic red kettles also will have a new look this year that makes it even easier to give with the addition of Tiptap, a touchless giving platform. Donors can give a set amount of $5, $10 or $20 with just a tap of their mobile phone, smartwatch, or any credit card set up for contactless payments.

To help raise awareness and encourage the community to donate, the nonprofit is once again partnering with Scott Wolffis, the president and CEO of Commercial Alliance, as the 2023 Red Kettle Christmas chairman. Wolffis, who has served on The Salvation Army’s Metro Detroit Advisory Board for more than 15 years, will serve as the public face of the fundraising campaign for the second consecutive year to help the nonprofit meet its $7.9 million fundraising goal.

“After the Christmas lights come down and the ornaments are packed away, the need in our community persists. Donations made during the Red Kettle Christmas Campaign help support The Salvation Army’s critical social and community programs that many families and individuals rely on all year long,” Wolffis said in a press release. “It is my pleasure to partner with The Salvation Army again this year and do my part in helping my neighbors in need. I look forward to the continued partnership between Commercial Alliance and The Salvation Army and the positive impact this relationship will have on our community.”

Dorrell said that such funds are more important than ever.

“With the rising cost of living, economic insecurity and inflation, families in metro Detroit are facing financial uncertainty. Some may lack proper shelter, a warm meal or may even be choosing between paying rent and buying presents this Christmas,” Dorrell wrote. “We owe it to our neighbors in need to come together and lend a helping hand when times get tough. When you give to The Salvation Army, your donation makes it possible for us to help our community’s most vulnerable 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.”