Alaskans are used to hearing the ringing of the Salvation Army bells at Christmastime. Now, they’ll be hearing them in July.
“So, just like Christmas where we ring all month long in the month of December, this one, we’re just going to do the Friday and Saturday of each weekend in July,” said Major David Davis with the Kodiak Salvation Army Corps.
They’re calling it “Jingle in July”.
Robert DeBerry, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army based in Anchorage, says this will be the first time Alaska residents will hear the familiar jingle of the bell and see the iconic red kettles during the summer.
“Alaskans come to the Salvation Army on a monthly basis, 12 months out of the year and ask for help,” said DeBerry, “whether it is rental assistance, food, drug rehab services or homeless shelter or just spiritual guidance and comfort.”
DeBerry says they saw a decrease in the number of people they were serving in 2017. However, the need of the people they continue to serve is often greater than in the past, with more requests for basics like clothing, food, and shelter.
DeBerry adds that the Salvation Army in Alaska has seen a steady decline in donations over the past few years.
He says the initiative is a partnership with Walmart. Employees will volunteer on Fridays at the big box store while community members will ring the bell there on Saturdays.
Walmart has stores in Anchorage, Eagle River, Fairbanks, Kenai, Ketchikan, Kodiak, and Wasilla.