For about 85 years the Poulsbo Lions Club has been helping the community through its Bellringer Fund during the holidays.
It is continuing its effort this year.
In the mid-1940s the Bellringer Fund was started by Frank and Mabel Raab. Frank was a charter member of the Poulsbo Lions Club and challenged the club and North Kitsap community to help families in need during the Christmas holiday.
Proceeds were used by the Lions Club to purchase food and gifts for families in need. Members of the club then distributed the items.
The North Kitsap Herald helped with the challenge, publicizing the effort, including information on donations. Local churches and similar organizations provided the lists of families in need.
In recent years the Bellringer Fund and the Lions Club have ceased direct purchases of food and gifts. Instead donations are distributed to agencies in the community that have the ability to do more with the funds received.
Last year the Bellringer Fund received over $18,000 in donations that were distributed to Fishline, ShareNet, St. Vincent DePaul at St Olaf’s and Coffee Oasis.
The goal this year is $25,000. Poulsbo American Legion Post 245 has been added to the list of agencies. It provides services to veterans in North Kitsap.
Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to: Lions Club Bellringer Fund, P.O. Box 1244, Poulsbo, WA 98370 or via PayPal at poulsbolions.blogspot.com