HARRISBURG – In response to a request made by a resident of the 32nd District, Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) sponsored Senate Resolution 365, which recognizes three days annually to ring bells as a sign of thanks, praise and unity.
The resolution recognizes the day before Thanksgiving, the Sunday after Christmas and New Year’s Day at 6 p.m. as a time to ring bells for five minutes throughout the Commonwealth.
In 2020 and thereafter, the pandemic disrupted and tragically affected the lives of Pennsylvanians and people all over the world.
To help those who were struggling, churches in the Scottdale area of Westmoreland County provided meals and clothing for the needy, support groups and donations to Salvation Army, United Way and other organizations.
When the Scottdale Area Association of Churches met to discuss how to meet the needs of their community members, they came up with the idea of ringing bells as a way to give hope, connect people and bring comfort to others.
“People of the Scottdale Area Association of Churches rang bells to bring people together physically and emotionally when isolation and many other stressors associated with the pandemic were eroding Pennsylvania’s mental health,” Stefano said. “So when Edwin Zylka of the association reached out to me to bring awareness to this tradition as it prepares for its third year, I wanted to help.”
According to data compiled by the National Alliance on Mental Illness in February 2021, more than half of Americans reported that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health.
CONTACT: Emily Falenski-Hildebrand