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2017 Kane County Chronicle Best of the Fox

Conley Outreach seeks bell ringers for holiday season

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

Conley Outreach Community Services is seeking bell ringers for the holiday season in western Kane County.

Carol Werdin Alfrey, executive director of the organization, said the group has been setting up bell ringing for about a decade in front of several locations in the Kaneland area, which includes Sugar Grove, Elburn, Kaneville, Maple Park, Virgil and Big Rock.

Werdin Alfrey said because the Kaneland area falls outside of the nearby Salvation Army Corps boundaries, nonprofit organizations such as Conley Outreach pick up bell-ringing services in those areas.

Last year, bell ringers helped raise more than $4,600, which remains local, she said.

“It all stays for those families in our coverage area,” Werdin Alfrey said. “It helps with rent, utility bills, mortgages, transportation costs ... typically it is kind of a necessity-of-life thing.”

About 60 families were served last year, and families are served on a one-time basis. Average assistance is about $200.

Werdin Alfrey said she’s looking for numerous group and individual volunteers for the bell-ringing season, which starts Nov. 27.

“What I really need are groups that can take an entire day,” she said.

She said church groups, sports teams, school clubs, 4-H groups and scouting groups often take an entire shift, with each member working a portion of the day’s shift.

“It’s a great way to get community service hours, too, for middle- and high-schoolers,” she said.

Werdin Alfrey said bell ringing starts the day before Thanksgiving and also includes shifts during the Elburn Christmas Stroll on Dec. 6.

Most other shifts are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through Dec. 21.

Bell ringers also are needed for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. shifts Dec. 3; and 10 a.m. to noon, and noon and 2 p.m. Dec. 24.

Bell ringing locations vary from village to village, but some are posted at Jewel in Elburn and Sugar Grove, and Ream’s Elburn Market in Elburn.

To sign up as a volunteer, contact Werdin Alfrey at 630-365-2880.

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