SA Fidelis and laundry

Fidelis Temukum, director of The Salvation Army Hamilton Service Center, shows their washer and dryer newly installed as an added service.

There are opportunities to do laundry and participate in bell ringing at The Salvation Army in Hamilton.

The Salvation Army purchased and installed a washing machine and dryer for free use by people needing to do laundry as an added service.

“We have installed a small public laundry here at the office, which will permit clients to do their laundry for free,” said the center's director Fidelis Temukum.

There is a sign-up sheet to reserve machines that are available Monday, Wednesday or Friday during office hours, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Currently there is also laundry soap available.

“But I’m thinking once we are out, we will expect people to bring their laundry soap,” Temukum said. “We have a lot that can take us for a couple of months. Everything is free.”

He is hoping the machines will be used by people without the means to pay to do laundry.

“We want people who are really in need,” he said. “We will always have someone in the office. We want to make sure they are putting in the right size of load to avoid ruining the machines. We have a volunteer to help with that.”

Once the laundry is in the machine, seating out in the reception area will be available, so bring a book or other quiet entertainment.

“They can wait and then take their clothes home to fold,” Temukum said. “We have a lot of books here.”

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The Salvation Army’s iconic Bell Ringing begins Nov. 20, and preparation begins now.

“We always do it the week before Thanksgiving because people have started doing their shopping,” Temukum. “Thanksgiving is late this year so there is not a lot of time. Last year we started ringing bells on Nov. 14. I’m worried that we won’t raise enough funds this year, we really need volunteers.”

Individuals, families, groups, churches, service organizations and other nonprofits are encouraged to sign up for a day or several hours.

“If they want to do two-days that is great,” Temukum said. “When we have volunteers we end up saving much money. When we don’t have volunteers we pay people to ring bells starting at $9 an hour and even if we don’t raise money we still have to pay them.”

To sign up to serve as a bell ringer visit the Salvation Army office at 217 N. 3rd St, Ste B-2 in Hamilton or call 406-210-1453.

Office Manager Wendy Wirrick has a signup sheet and will be coordinating the volunteers.

“Hamilton Christian Academy did a lot last year and we really want to thank them,” Temukum said. “When we have a lot of cold and snow we receive more donations.”

If standing out in the cold ringing a bell isn’t for you, donations are always accepted by mail.

Employees are being hired to ring bells for pay, applications will be accepted beginning in early November. All bell ringers undergo a background check.

“We thank the community,” Temukum said. “We always want to thank those who donate to us. We emphasize that all donations stay here in the valley, they don’t go out of Ravalli County.”