Caroling and Bells

The cold air stinging and coloring her cheeks, NHS member senior Gabrielle Kline rings a small red bell and sings Frosty the Snowman, pausing to greet shoppers entering VG’s on Silver Parkway.

“My friends and I volunteered through NHS to ring bells for Salvation Army,” Kline said.  “It felt great to be doing something for charity while hanging out with some of my best friends.”

Senior Madison Kautman, chair of the event, volunteered with two of her friends at an early morning shift.

“I played the Wobble on my phone during my shift,” Kautman said.  “Sarah Lawrence wore a penguin suit, Torrey Christopher had a chair because she’s on crutches, and I was dancing with Starbucks in one hand and a bell in the other.  The reactions from people were hilarious.”

For some, ringing bells has become a regular winter activity.  Senior Rachel Anderson volunteered for the second year in a row.

“Last year, a super sweet little girl and her dad went out and bought us hot chocolate to keep warm,” Anderson said.  “It’s little things like that that really make it worth it- all the random acts of kindness you see while on the job.”

The volunteers had a few additional ways to stay warm other than cocoa.

“I was so bundled up I could hardly move,” Kline said.  “And my group was jumping and dancing and singing and trying to remember the words to any Christmas carols we could think of.  My favorite carol was our rendition of ‘Come and Get It’ mixed with ‘Deck the Halls.’”

However, ringing bells and singing were only two components of the event.

“I tried to say hello or goodbye to everyone that came in or left the store,” Anderson said. “One guy walked out and I told him to have a nice night.  He looked at me oddly and told me he worked there.”

Despite the cold weather, NHS members volunteer in shifts to ring bells each year.

“It was worth the frostbite for the memories,” Kautman said.  “I love bell ringing and helping people in need.  I do it every year.”