Demonstrating a little “kettle karaoke” while ringing bells can be a laugh-filled, cheer-spreading experience for ringers and donors alike, The Salvation Army in the Twin Cities has partnered with personalities from local radio stations to raise funds and promote ringer recruitment!
“Our goal is to show bellringing is fun and that anyone can do it!” said Julie Orlando, divisional special events manager.
A series of fun clips starring the radio personalities are filmed and posted on social media sites every November. The personalities sing well-known Christmas tunes while clowning around in front of a Cub Foods store, inviting passersby to join in by holding the bell like a microphone in front of their faces! The celebrity ringers demonstrate that even a weakly warbled but sincere rendition of “Silent Night” or the simple greeting of “Merry Christmas” with a smile can attract people to the kettle stand.
iHeartRadio, a primary media partner, supplies personalities from five affiliated stations—K102, KDWB, KFAN, Cities97 and KOOL108. The latter station typically plays greatest hits from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s but broadcasts 100 percent Christmas music during November and December.
“It’s a perfect fit for our Christmas messaging,” Julie continued, “and Cub Foods, our largest kettle partner with close to $1 million raised each year through ringers at their stores, loves that we film at their locations!”
Viewers on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are challenged to get in on the fun by registering online to volunteer as bellringers and film their own clips for posting using #Kettle Karaoke.
“The majority of the clips are posted on Instagram and Twitter,” said Julie. “We do a ‘surprise and delight’ for some posters by awarding Chick-fil-A gift cards donated by the company.” The celebrity clips also are shown on the large rotunda screen at the Mall of America throughout “Celebrity Bell Ringer Day” on which the radio personalities also ring bells.
“We gain free social exposure and expand our reach every year, and the radio personalities love sharing the clips and photos taken during filming with their followers,” Julie concluded.