The annual Jekyll Island Lions Club bell ringing effort on behalf of the Salvation Army has begun for the season. The Club has expanded its coverage to include both the Beach Village and the Flash Foods/Dairy Queen complex at the same time. Lion Frank, Immediate Past President, volunteered to coordinate the scheduling effort, to include extending participation invitations to other civic organizations and the community-at-large.
Back in the day, the Lions used to collect about $3,500 per season for the Salvation Army. When the revitalization effort began on the island, donations dropped and have not recovered despite the opening of the new Beach Village shopping area. The goal this year is to try and match the old giving level. To accomplish this objective, bell ringing was started earlier in November and the hours have been adjusted from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm to 11:00 am – 5:00 pm so as to catch more afternoon foot traffic. Last year, the club alternated bell ringing between the Beach Village and Fast Foods, but this year the Salvation Army provided an additional kettle so that both locations can host collection ringers at the same time. However, two locations required twice as many volunteers. Lion Frank contacted other organizations, such as the Rotary and the Jekyll Island Citizens Association, who have either provided volunteers or helped out with advertising. The bell ringing project has truly become a community effort. Bell ringers plan to be out collecting donations through Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas!