A family of volunteers

Every Christmas season, the Fie Family sets aside a day to gather together and volunteer their time ringing the bell for The Salvation Army. In what has become an annual tradition for them, they are instilling in each generation the importance of giving back. Watch how they’ve established this enduring legacy, and consider starting your own tradition this year. Find more about giving your time in our guide to being an impactful volunteer.

Read the transcript of the video here:

Major Mike Dickinson: Philanthropy is taught. It’s not an innate thing within us.

Merrill and Dorie Fie are lovely people that have been supporting The Salvation Army for 63 years, if you can imagine. 1956 when Merrill Fie first stood at the Salvation Army kettle. One of the things that I’m so impressed with is the way that Merrill has taught his family, the way that he has led this community as the owner of businesses to say, “Giving back is important, and I will lead the charge.” 

Merrill Fie: Our grandchildren have rung bells since they were two, three-year-olds. They have had it explained to them why they were ringing bells and how it helped others.

Dorie Fie: They were as excited as we are. They always felt that Christmas didn’t start until we rang bells.

Merrill: Our children learned by just watching us and seeing the things we did. 

Brady Anderson: I’m Merrill’s youngest grandson. I’m nineteen. I started ringing when I was about two years old, apparently. It’s one of my favorite days every single year. It’s getting to spend quality time with my family and also trying to make a difference.

Dorie: Another cousin, and his little girl who’s seven years old, when he saw our two granddaughters dancing and all, she wanted to be there, so they had to put an apron on her. And she was so excited. She says to her father, “Dad, can I come back next year.”

Major Mike: Volunteers are the army behind the army, and it’s never been more true than it is today. The Salvation Army’s committed to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and meeting human needs in his name without discrimination. Families like Fie’s, well, they make that all possible.

Merrill: We think we should leave this world a better place than when we came, and if you’re going to do that, you must serve and help others.

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