Volunteer - Vail Valley

The Gift of Giving

The holiday season and the Salvation Army are synonymous. Throughout the season bell ringers and red kettles can be seen all over the country collecting money for less fortunate individuals. Some volunteers even sing Christmas carols, play musical instruments or sometimes bring their playful pets to garner attention.

The tradition began in 1891 when Captain Joseph McFee wanted to help the poor people of San Francisco during the Christmas season. He placed a pot at the Oakland Ferry with a sign that read, ”Keep the pot boiling.”

And the Salvation Army keeps stirring the pot, so to speak.

Local bell ringers begin their quest on November 26. Many of the community’s familiar politicians, teachers, realtors and just ordinary giving folks – work in two-hour shifts – will be on hand to lend a hand.

“This fund-raiser has the potential to be the largest fundraiser that we do all year,” says Tsu Wolin-Brown, who runs the Salvation Army’s day-to-day operations. “We serve about 4500, people a month and a lot depends the success of this event. If we get enough people to volunteer their time, this could be a banner year.”

In addition to the bell ringing campaign, there are opportunities to work as a Holiday Cabin attendant, where Adopt-a-Family donors shop for the items on their family’s list or by assembling and delivering Christmas Food Baskets throughout Eagle County.

As Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.”

To volunteer, please go to or call 970-926-3704.