Service club rings in the holidays to help rescue Christmas.

December 21, 2020

Shown smiling broadly at the Pentwater Post Office two years ago are (L-R) Pentwater resident Sue Bainton, and Service Club bell ringer Claudia Ressel-Hodan. Although people’s smiles were hidden by their facemasks this year, one could still sense everyone’s enthusiasm for chipping in to help locals in need.

Service club rings in the holidays to help rescue Christmas.

By Ron Beeber, Contributing Writer.
PENTWATER — Small town post offices, like Pentwater’s, provide a real sense of community.  This was demonstrated Dec. 11 and 12 when volunteer bell ringers from the Pentwater Service Club set up a Salvation Army red kettle, and invited postal patrons and passersby to make small donations.

“We were quite amazed, as our bell-ringing members collected over $1,100 from our friends and neighbors,” said Claudia Ressel-Hodan, who organized the service club’s fundraising effort this year. “That’s more money than we’ve ever collected in over 25 years of doing this. Folks were especially generous in this most difficult year. Each year, our members really enjoy taking shifts, ringing the bell outside our post office, and greeting folks as they enter and leave the building.”

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle tradition dates back to 1891 in San Francisco when an official put out an iron kettle to collect funds to feed people during the holidays. Today, contributions into the kettles enable the organization to work year-round in helping those who would be otherwise forgotten.

That happens at the Salvation Army in Ludington, located at 1101 South Madison Street. Those needing a hand can receive help with food, personal care items, utility payments, emergency shelter, rent/mortgage payments, medical prescriptions, clothing and furniture.

“A posting on the organization’s website – – is really quite compelling,” added Pentwater Service Club President Mark Trierweiler. “They put it this way: ‘Help us Rescue Christmas in the Ludington area. As you check things off your list, don’t forget to include your neighbors who are facing difficult challenges this year. There are people right here in our community who just want to feel safe, or warm, or fed this Christmas.'”

The Pentwater Service Club’s purpose is to encourage and promote good citizenship, worthy community projects, and a better-informed citizenry. More information is found either on its website, or its Facebook page.

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