Bell Ringing Returns: Support Los Alamos And White Rock Families In Need

Bell ringers Rita Sanchez, left, and Maire O’Neill in action last year at Smith’s Marketplace in Los Alamos. Courtesy photo


Los Alamos County has its own Salvation Army outpost—Self Help, Inc, a Los Alamos-based nonprofit  that assists neighbors in need. Each year, Self Help helps about 100 Los Alamos and White Rock families  with essentials such as rent, utilities, medical care, and more. These funds come from Los Alamos residents, many of whom donate through the annual Salvation Army Bell Ringing fundraiser! 

Festive Self Help volunteers will ring bells at the Smiths grocery stores in Los Alamos and White Rock during the holiday season to spread cheer and awareness of the critical needs in our communities.  Generous community members deposit cash, change, and checks in the red kettles, raising enough  funds to keep neighbors safely housed throughout the year—almost $18,000 in 2021, which helped  more than 100 Los Alamos County households in 2022.  

Funds raised through bell ringing stay local. Self Help uses them to prevent utility disconnects and  evictions and help those who hit a “bump in the road” by paying for things like medical supplies or other  essentials.  

Join Us! 

Self Help needs volunteers to ring bells in two-hour shifts from November 21 through December 24. Bell  ringing is easy, fun, and anyone can do it! It can be a great team-builder for your business or community  group and a great activity for families with kids! Filling a volunteer shift is an easy way to raise funds for  local families who have been particularly burdened with the high cost of food, gas, rent, and other  

household essentials. All volunteers will need to follow Covid/flu public health practices to keep  everyone safe and healthy this holiday season. To sign up or learn more, visit 2022 Bell Ringing. You can also contact Self Help directly at 505-662-4666  or Volunteers can also contact the Los Alamos Volunteer Association at 505- 662-8923 the volunteer arm of the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization for seniors 55 and up. 

Who is Self Help, Inc? 

For more than 50 years, Self Help, Inc. has helped northern New Mexicans in need through its core  programs: financial assistance for basic needs, seed grants for education and entrepreneurship, and  consultations to connect people with local social service resources. In 2022 alone, Self Help will assist  more than 1,000 northern New Mexican families. Approximately 18% of these families live in Los Alamos  County, all of whom were helped with funds raised by through this annual bell ringing fundraiser. Any Los Alamos County resident is eligible for help in a time of need. 

About the Salvation Army  

William Booth and Catherine Booth founded The Salvation Army in 1865 to help the suffering souls  throughout London. They served those who were not willing or able to attend – or even allowed into – traditional churches/charities. Their mission was to serve the most destitute, and the ministry grew and  became a worldwide organization. Each year, thanks to generous donations, The Salvation Army serves  30 million Americans – or one person every second – from a variety of backgrounds. People receive  assistance according to their need and each community’s capacity to help – regardless of race, gender,  ethnicity or sexual orientation.