Rotary Club of Portland: Service Above Self

Salvation Army Bellringing

Salvation Army Bellringing

Holiday group fundraising for local Salvation Army programs


It's a cold day in December, holiday shoppers scurry around trying to find the perfect gift for their loved ones. Dispersed on practically every street corner in downtown Portland are more than one hundred Rotarians, with friends, family, and sometimes even their pet dogs. They're ringing bells, playing music, or singing to inspire passerby to place donations of cash, coins, and checks inside the trademark red kettles. 

Every year our Rotary joins the Salvation Army in their Christmas Kettle, which started in 1891, and is their most famous street campaign to raise money and feed the hungry during the holiday season. 

For seventy-eight years, the Burns family has been bell ringing. It started with grandfather, Bobby Burns, who had been bell ringing since 1926 and brought the tradition to the Rotary Club of Portland in 1938. His son Jack Burns followed, and today, Scott Burns continues to make this event a huge success. The Salvation Army Bell Ringing Event is the longest running Rotary charitable event.