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Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, center, at the bell ringing campaign kickoff for the local Salvation Army on Nov. 30. He is surrounded by the Ward family, including Ruairi, left, and Sarah, who run the Marysville Salvation Army branch, and their kids Cilliam, Seamus, Ronan and Pearce.

 

The local branch of the Salvation Army began its bell ringing campaign with a kickoff on Nov. 30 with Marysville officials.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, City Council member Mark James and others came to the Marysville Fred Meyer to ring bells and greet customers.

“We’re kicking off our red kettle campaign which is our big fundraiser, not just through Christmas but through the rest of the year,” said Ruairi Ward, commanding officer of the Salvation Army of Marysville.

The bell ringing at local businesses is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Salvation Army.

“It is very significant in our area. We usually raise over $100,000 in our season,” said Ward.

Locally, those funds go to programs that the organization runs such as rental assistance, utilities assistance, emotional support programs, a Christmas program to provide dinner and toys, and a clothing bank.

The local branch of the Salvation Army also provides community meals.

“The community meals are about getting people fed, but they are also a touchpoint for us to help them get them out of the situation they’re in,” said Ward.

“We try to help them get the resources that they need,” he said.

In the wintertime it is particularly important to help people who need assistance staying in their home and keeping the heat on.

“With the funds we raise we aim to keep homes warm and keep them in their homes,” said Ward.

The goal for this year is to raise $115,000 “and what we need to get there is volunteers,” said Ward.

Bell ringers can put their location, time and date, and Ward said that it is “super easy.”

“The neat thing about volunteering is you get to be out in the community, meet people and make new friends,” said Ward. “You get to be a representative of the Salvation Army and the good we do."

Those interested in volunteering can contact the Salvation Army of Marysville at 360-926-2228 or go to volunteer.usawest.org.

“They can go in there and put in their zip code and they will see the opportunities for bell ringing,” said Ward.

Ward said he has recently entered the position as commanding officer for the local branch and thanked the community for their support so far.

“I’m new to the community and we’re blessed by this community and blown away by the generosity,” he said.

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