For over 75 years the Poulsbo Lions Club has donated money to charities all across the city as part of its holiday Bellringer program.
Those donations are even more important this year because of money lost due to coronavirus restrictions.
The Bellringer Campaign was started in 1942 by Poulsbo Lions Charter member Frank Raab and his wife Mable, in an effort to help those in need around the holidays and to bring some holiday cheer to those who otherwise would not have much to celebrate.
For the past 35 years, Lions Club president John McDonald and co-chairman Dennis Tesch have used those funds to purchase groceries and gifts for families in need and deliver them.
“It became too much for us to do, so we stepped back and now are giving money to basically four charities: Fishline, Sharenet, St. Vincent De Paul and Coffee Oasis,” McDonald said. “Basically to help them with whatever shortfalls they may have.”
Those four nonprofits basically do what the Lions did with the money – help out people in need during the holidays.
Over the years the most the Poulsbo Lions Club has raised for the four charities was $38,000.
But in the last few years, it has averaged somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000. This year the goal is to raise $30,000.
“I’m kind of holding my breath thinking that, that won’t happen, but that’s OK. Anything that we can raise to help these organizations during this time is huge,” McDonald said.
Over the course of the next few weeks, the North Kitsap Herald will be featuring stories about these charities and explain how they have spent past Bellringer funds from the Lions Club, and what they hope to do with the funds they receive this year. If you like, the Herald also will run your name in the paper with the amount you donated, or it can be done anonymously.
The newspaper, as always, also will run a thermometer showing how much the community has donated each week toward the goal.
If you would like to donate to the Lions Club Bellringer fundraiser please mail donations to P.O. Box 1244 Poulsbo, WA, 98370.