Did you know?
Self Help, Inc is Los Alamos County’s own Salvation Army outpost! The Salvation Army contracts with Self Help to implement an emergency assistance program for Los Alamos County. This means that all Salvation Army funds raised locally stay local, and are used by Self Help to help people in Los Alamos County who are struggling with needs such as food and shelter!
What is bell-ringing?
Bell-ringing is just what it sounds like: ringing a bell! Volunteers stand outside of Smith’s and ring a small bell in two-hour shifts. Donors drop money in a bright red kettle. The money is then used by Self Help to assist Los Alamos County residents in need all year long. That’s really it!
We need your help!
Bell-ringing is Self Help’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Each two-hour shift raises an average of about $150, enough to help a family in dire need. It really makes a difference.
- Will ringing be indoors or outdoors?
- Either is OK! Whichever you feel most comfortable with. Either way, just make sure the kettle and stand aren’t left unattended.
- When does the ringing happen?
- In the week leading up to Thanksgiving, and then from Black Friday through Christmas Eve. Click on the Sign Up links to see a list of all the shifts.
- How many shifts should I take?
- As many as you want (and the more you do, the more money you raise)! If you decide you want to add more shifts later, you can fill out the signup form as many times as you want or contact us to let us know you’d like to ring more.
- Can I still help if I can’t stand for 2 hours?
- Absolutely! A chair will be available for those who need to sit. There are also gel mats on the floor to make standing easier for those who choose to.
- Can I still help if I can’t ring an actual bell?
- Absolutely! In the past volunteers have brought speakers to play music or done a wide variety of other things to grab attention.
- Can I work a shorter shift?
- Yes, as long as we can figure out how to prevent a gap in the schedule. The easiest thing for us is if you find a buddy to split your shift with and come to us together, but we can find other solutions too–just let us know.
- Can I bring friends?
- Yes! If you are bringing people outside your household, please observe social distancing.
- Can children or teens ring the bell?
- As long as they have an adult with them! We love having young people ring the bell.
- What do I say to people passing by? Am I supposed to convince them to donate?
- You don’t have to give a pitch–the bell itself is the pitch! Just be friendly: thank people who donate, and wish people a happy holiday or whatever else feels right to you.
- What should I wear?
- Dress warm! It gets cold in the atrium, especially near the doors, where ventilation is better.
- Beyond that, where whatever feels fun and festive to you. Funny hats are welcome–if you don’t have a Santa hat but would like one, let us know and we’ll give you your very own!
- Sunglasses can be helpful for intense afternoon sun, since both stores face West.
- Do I have to wear a mask?
- No–masks are optional for volunteers and customers in stores and facilities unless otherwise required by local or state jurisdiction. You are always welcome to wear a mask to make bell-ringing as safe as possible for everyone.
Thank you for helping keep the holidays merry and bright for Los Alamos and White Rock families in need!