Local woman proves you’re never too old to be a bell ringer

90-year-old June Van Dyke volunteered to be part of The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.
June Van Dyke wanted to do her part to make the holidays merry and bright for local people in need
Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 6:41 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - You’ve probably seen The Salvation Army’s red kettles throughout town. A lot of people in this community volunteer their time to ring the bell and collect money to help those in need, and this year, there’s a new volunteer who is quite an inspiration.

June Van Dyke is proof that age is just a number.

“I am out here as a 90-year-old lady because I heard on TV that they needed more bell ringers,” Van Dyke said. “There are some things that I can’t do anymore at my age, but I thought this is something I could do.”

And she was right. June did her job very well at the Kroger at the corner of King and Sylvania.

When she heard the number of families and children in our area who need help, June says she knew she had to jump into action. She loved seeing all the donations both big and small.

“It all adds up. Every cent counts. When you think of The Salvation Army serving 3,000 families in our area this year, include 6,000 kids, it’s wonderful. We all have to have a giving spirit.”

Laura Henthorn is the Volunteer Coordinator for The Salvation Army of Northwest Ohio. She loved having a front row seat to June’s time at the kettle.

“She lives at Kingston, and she told everyone there to come over,” Henthorn said. “She said they didn’t have to shop, they just had to put some money in the kettle. She was so enthusiastic about giving back and doing something.”

Plenty of June’s friends did show up. She made some new friends, too. And she loved watching the kindness of this community in action.

“I can’t imagine what it’s like to not have a toy at Christmas or bread on the table,” Van Dyke said. “There are so many giving people. I am blessed to know a lot of them.”

June has a message for all of us that she hopes we will remember all year.

“Do unto others as you would have done unto you. Giving is a good thing. It makes us all very, very happy. This world could use more of that.”

The Salvation Army is looking for more volunteer bell ringers. You can volunteer alone or with others. It can be as little as two hours, or all day. If you’d like to learn how you can involved, click here.

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