About Spotlight Stories: Each month, we will highlight a Lifeworks program, employee or volunteer that is making a difference in our communities. “The Spotlight Story is a way to let everyone know the many little things that our staff, at all levels, are doing every day to benefit our organization and the people we serve”, Dan Burke, President and CEO, Lifeworks, Inc..
For our first Spotlight article, we chose to recognize six individuals who are busy giving back to their community during the holiday season as Salvation Army Bell Ringers. The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, one of the oldest fundraisers of its kind in the United States, provides toys for children, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless other social service programs. For the past three years Lifeworks has partnered with the Salvation Army and its Red Kettle Program. For some of these individuals, standing out in the cold, setting up a kettle and ringing a bell is a second or third job. They’ve been signing up for bell ringing shifts at the Stop & Shop in Norwood and Walpole, in addition to Walmart, working around their regular job schedule. Lifeworks staff makes sure to have plenty of hand and foot warmers for each bell ringer on the colder days.
Bell Ringer Katie Ryan recently transitioned from her job at Big Y in Norwood to Shaw’s in the same town. When asked what she likes best about her job as a bell ringer, Katie says, “ I like seeing people that I know. It’s fun ringing the bell and it get’s me out of the house.” Allie Iannoni echoed Katie’s sentiment, “ I love it! My favorite part is ringing the bell!” Allie worked at Pastry Art Bakery before the pandemic and was so excited about the Salvation Army bell ringing opportunity. This is Allie’s first year participating and loves greeting people and bringing a smile to people’s faces.” When not working at Home Depot, Matthew Corboy catches a shift as well. Paul Findlen, a longtime Lifeworks participant and bell ringer has been busy working at the Dedham Food Pantry for the last ten years. Another bell ringer, Geoff Blowers, juggles a busy schedule working at the Big Y in Walpole.
Geoff was also working at Showcase Cinemas until the temporary closure of the theater due to Covid-19 restrictions. Geoff loves interacting with people while ringing the bell. Chad Daniels, who has worked at Chipotle, also participates as a bell ringer. The year 2020 has been a tough year for many and finding available bell ringers has been difficult. While not working, as bell ringers or at their jobs out in the community, the group is busy participating in the Lifeworks Day Programs at Lifeworks Employment Services in Norwood. Hats off to all of the bell ringers, calling attention to those in need during the holidays. We applaud their efforts to make the season brighter for those in their community! Happy Holidays.