Salvation Army bell ringing

Jenae Marshall, News Writer

Xavier students have the expectation of providing service to surrounding communities. For the past five years, the Xavier basketball programs have volunteered to ring bells for The Salvation Army. The bell ringing season starts each November and continues through Christmas Eve, raising around 30 dollars of donations per hour. Donations provide basic household items, housing, youth services, rehabilitation, counseling and spiritual care to people in the community.

“Our kids are generally considered fortunate and blessed with daily amenities, and we can be caught taking them for granted,” Xavier girls’ basketball coach Tom Lilly said. “If they really pay attention to why they are there and do not think about how cold they are, it helps them realize the spirit of giving.”

Xavier girls’ basketball players ring bells for the Salvation Army outside of Hy-Vee on
November 23. Photo Submitted.

Lilly expressed that the more the players participate in bell ringing, the better they will understand how to be appreciative of the gifts in their lives.

“Many people this season will not have big thanksgiving meals, piles of presents under the tree on Christmas, or even a warm place to sleep during this cold winter,” junior Aubrey Jones said. “Because of that, it is important to take a step back from our own lives and help the less fortunate to have a great holiday season.”

This event is a time for the teams to bond, as well as a chance to help the underprivileged, specifically aiding in raising money for food and shelter.

In addition to ringing bells, the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams designate a time to clean-up litter on Seminole Valley Road. For the past two years, the girls’ team has also adopted a different family in the Cedar Rapids community who is in financial need. They provide necessities and presents for these families during the holiday season.

Each team’s goal is to show that Xavier basketball is more than just a sport, it is a group of teammates coming together to help the less fortunate.