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Annual 'Ring Day' to raise money, give back to community

Stock art of Salvation Army workers performing for collections on Dec. 13, 2013 in midtown Manhattan. 1 / 2
Salvation Army Maj. Elaine Medlock gives Jimmy Newgren a helping hand at ringing the bell Friday during the Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff at West Acres in Fargo.David Samson / The Forum2 / 2

Local real estate agents will ring bells for the Salvation Army on Friday, Dec. 1, to raise money during the holiday season for those in need.

Volunteer bell-ringers in the Dickinson area will be stationed at several spots, including Cash Wise, Runnings and Ace Hardware, to take collections in red kettles, said Bonnie Warm. She is director for this year's "Ring Day," an annual tradition for the Badlands Board of REALTORS, which has been assisting the Salvation Army since 2010.

North Dakota real estate agents have raised thousands of dollars and helped spearhead a nationwide effort, according to a Board of REALTORS news release. Realtors in 31 states across the country now ring bells for the Salvation Army.

"We do it as community service for that one day," Warm said. "(It's) just something we can do to give back to the community."

Warm is relatively new to the Dickinson real estate community, but she was honored by being named "Rookie of the Year" last year by the board, an honor which comes with the responsibility of having to organize that year's Ring Day.

"I inherited the responsibility," Warm said.

The Salvation Army was chosen for this volunteer project due to the scope of its operations, providing shelter to those without a permanent home. The Salvation Army's Northern Division covers North Dakota and Minnesota and has provided thousands of nights of lodging to those in need, the release stated. Other Salvation Army services include rent and mortgage assistance for families facing foreclosure.

Ring Day was discussed by the North Dakota Association of REALTORS membership committee, which was looking for a statewide project that could involve Realtors. Fargo and Minot real estate agents are also participating in Ring Day.

Dickinson Mayor Scott Decker proclaimed Dec. 1 as Ring Day in Dickinson, officially honoring the tradition, which has now spread to seven cities across the state, with nearly 100 kettles and 500 bell-ringers participating.

Warm said while local real estate agents have the manpower they need for Ring Day, the Salvation Army always needs more volunteer bell-ringers and donations. To contribute online, visit " target="_blank">salvationarmynorth.org/?events+ring-day-for-real-estate-professionals.

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