Mainstreet REALTORS® Ringing Bells to Better Our Neighbors


Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® is partnering with The Salvation Army for a second straight year to bring cheer to the Chicago suburbs this holiday season. Now through Christmas, Mainstreet REALTORS® will ring bells at The Salvation Army’s iconic red kettles, raising money to help our neighbors in need. 

Last year, Mainstreet REALTORS® rang bells for more than 130 hours and raised $3,542.85, which was enough to provide one month’s rent for three families, fund 136 flood kits, or provide 1,700 meals for individuals experiencing homelessness. Inspired by this life-changing impact, Mainstreet is volunteering with The Salvation Army again this year, this time with a goal of doubling what was raised last year.

“I’m thrilled of the partnership Mainstreet REALTORS® are fostering with the Salvation Army,” said John Gormley, CEO of Mainstreet. “It makes me proud when I see how much Mainstreet REALTORS® are vested in the community, volunteering their time – That’s who we R!”

Starting Friday, November 8, the Army will roll out more than 1,000 kettles across Chicagoland, and they will be out through Christmas Eve. Kettles will be placed at Jewel-Osco, Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Mariano’s, malls, and a host of other retail partners. Mainstreet REALTORS® can sign up for an individual 2-hour time slot (or more) and offices can sign up for a full day (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) To sign up, contact Monica Herrera at 773.205.3505 or via email at

New this year, offices are encouraged to match donations at their kettle dollar for dollar up to $250, $500, or $750, increasing our impact on our neighbors in need this holiday season. We’ll provide Mainstreet branded aprons for the volunteers at your kettle, and you can participate in a little friendly competition between offices to see which one can Do the Most Good by raising the most funds (the winning office gets a pizza party!).

The Army needs bell ringers the entire season, but they are critical in November. So, Mainstreet volunteers who sign up for a bell-ringing shift between November 8 and December 21 will be entered to win two tickets and a chance to be honorary captain at the Chicago Wolves Faith & Fellowship Night on February 15.  

The Salvation Army raises nearly 70 percent of its yearly donations during the Christmas season, and the donations stay in the local community where it is raised. Last year, red kettle donations were used to: 

•          Serve more than 850,000 meals

•          Provide shelter for nearly 6,000 men, women and children

•          Pay nearly 90,000 rent/mortgage/utility/prescription bills

•          Support more than 14,000 survivors of disasters as well as first responders

This marks the 129th year of the Army’s use of red kettles as a giving tradition across the country. The Red Kettle Campaign began in 1891 when Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee wanted to feed 1,000 people in San Francisco on Christmas Day. He remembered his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England, when passersby threw coins for the poor into an iron kettle on the dock. He placed a kettle at the foot of Market Street on Embarcadero with a sign reading “keep the pot boiling.” Within a decade, the idea was copied in New York and Boston. Today, the nationwide effort serves more than 6 million people.

To sign up, contact Sara at 773.205.3505 or via email at