Women with red kettle

Denver ARC women give back through bellringing

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Beneficiaries raise over $6,000 for local corps

By Hillary Jackson – 

Volunteer bellringers come from many places throughout any given community each kettle season. In the Denver area, they also come from the Denver Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC). 

This year, women from the Denver ARC volunteered as bellringers to benefit the West Adams (Colorado) Corps, continuing the corps’ tradition of partnering with ARC beneficiaries for kettles that began several years ago. 

“West Adams has turned into a flourishing recovery corps,” said West Adams Corps Officer Lt. David Aguirre with his wife Lt. Sarah Aguirre. “We have a real heart for the recovery ministry. We have had both the men and women from the ARC ring bells, and it has worked out tremendously.”

The Aguirres were first connected with the ARC when they were commissioned in 2016 and appointed to the Denver area. Last year, the Denver ARC men’s program closed, but the women’s program remained open. During the transition, the West Adams Corps helped the ARC by offering to provide a place for the Wednesday and Sunday chapel services. 

The corps also provided help with spiritual counseling as the ARC Command was getting the new women’s program organized, and started a Celebrate Recovery for the neighborhood and the women of the ARC.

“Because of the great way the corps helped the ARC, we decided to once again help with the kettle program,” said Major Rachel Gallop, Denver ARC Director of Program.

The women stood kettles weekly during kettle season, increasing to daily for a two week stint. Together, the women raised a total of $6,532.24.

“It allows them to feel a sense of accomplishment and give back,” said Sarah Aguirre. “So often it is hard to accept things freely given, especially for those who have always been able to take care of themselves. It’s humbling to lose everything. This provides each of them the means to give back in other ways. Often times you will see their families get involved as well, and continue the tradition of bell ringing with their families for years to come.”

In addition to giving back, Gallop said that by standing kettles, beneficiaries were able to begin to understand the full scope of Salvation Army ministry.

“The benefits that it gives both the ladies and the corps are tremendous,” Gallop said. “The ladies were able to help in a small way to provide items for the less fortunate. It also showed them how they can give service to help their recovery.”

With the West Adams Corps and Denver ARC partnership, beneficiaries can give back through bellringing and volunteer opportunities throughout the year, like manning booths at the corps’ harvest festival and back-to-school events.  

“I would definitely tell other corps to partner with their closest ARCs,” David Aguirre said. “They are uplifting at the kettle sites and you can really see a difference in your kettle totals at the end of the day. We are thankful for what God is doing in the ARC ministry and will always support it in every way we can.”

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