Handbell Choir Surprise

To get you in the mood for the start of the holiday season, we thought we’d re-post our mission from this time last year, Guerrilla Handbell Strikeforce. A 13-member handbell choir provides some unexpected accompaniment for a Salvation Army bell ringer on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan.

Causing a Scene

And if you’re looking for a perfect gift for the comedy-fan in your life, pick up Improv Everywhere’s book, Causing a Scene You can order it on Amazon for just $13.59 or you can order a signed, personalized copy straight from us.

Comments

comments

12 thoughts on “Handbell Choir Surprise

  1. The “Guerrilla Handbell Strikeforce” video from last year was well intentioned and well executed, but nevertheless it undoubtedly felt like a slap in the face to the LGBT community. This is because the Salvation Army discriminates against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. There are other organizations worthy of our support that do lots of good in our country while treating everyone with dignity, respect and equality, such as the following:

    * Doctors Without Borders (http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/)
    * The American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/)
    * Heifer International (http://www.heifer.org/)
    * The Trevor Project (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/)
    * Direct Relief International (http://www.directrelief.org/)

    Of special note to those in New York City: “In 2004, the Salvation Army threatened to close all their soup kitchens and homeless shelters in New York City instead of following an ordinance requiring city contractors to provide equal benefits to domestic partners. Discriminating against gays was more important to them than helping the poor. (http://tinyurl.com/2ef7kdm)”

    1. From the original mission report:

      “Our goal with this mission wasn’t to make any sort of statement about the Salvation Army (an organization that I’m sure does lots of great charitable work, but also is not without controversy), but to create an awesome moment for one bell ringer and the random New Yorkers and tourists who happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

      1. With all due respect, I would hope that ImprovEverywhere embarks on a future mission that involves a gay organization, while not making a statement about the gay organization (such an organization that does a lot of great work toward fighting for equality and full civil human rights for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, but also is not without controversy due to religious and cultural differences permeated with ignorance and prejudice), but rather creating an awesome moment akin to the one created with the Salvation Army. Given the Salvation Army video’s well-intention yet inadvertent insensitivity toward someone like me who is an openly gay man who wants to be free and equal like every other American, I would think that this would be the right thing to do. I wonder if straight people might understand this a little better if they were to walk in the shoes of a gay person for a day.

        1. How does one specifically seek out a gay organization without making a statement about that organization? The Salvation Army thing works because they have bell ringers everywhere, not because they are, specifically, the Salvation Army. If there were an outreach from gay organization that was as ubiquitous as the Salvation Army bell ringers, then I’m sure IE would be just as likely to have included them in one of their skits.

  2. I’ve always wanted to join a handbell choir. and this is just one more reaosn to. =]

  3. SFNative

    The Salvation Army has always been a [b] religious[/b] organization first and foremost. “Evangelical Protestant Denomination of the universal Christian Church”
    Sexual activity has always been a religious hot topic, and most religious organizations frown on [b]any[/b] promiscuous activity. So does the Salvation Army.

    My religion actually frowns on giving a donation to the bucket because it is promoting another religion.

    But I do contribute to the Salvation army and always will.
    They were there…when my father needed help, gave him a safe warm bed and warm food.

    THEY help so MANY… in giving them a safe place.

    The world is so cynical.

    If you have doubts on how your money is being used, there are three times a many angels on a angel tree this year.
    Pull one, give to the kids, by giving clothes.. not money.
    You’d be surprised at how a new pair of shoes makes a kid smile, or a new coat that hasn’t been worn by someone else.

    1. I appreciate that the Salvation Army helped your father in a time of need. But I don’t understand why the Salvation Army won’t help a same-sex partner of one of their employees who might have his or her own need. Why would the Salvation Army choose to help one and not the other, going so far as to threaten New York City with its services to the homeless if they have to give to the same-sex partner? Where is the dignity in that, or does that person not deserve dignity in your mind? I give to charity each year, but at the same time, I make sure that no one is inadvertently harmed as a result of my gifts, and that is why I will never give through the Salvation Army as long as they treat gay people as inferior to straight people. With all due respect, you might understand this a whole lot better if you were gay.

      1. I know their policies are unfair and wrong, but while they are still raising money for so many people in need, providing for so many of those who have nothing, in short doing so much good in the world, we shouldn’t try to stop their work. We should, however, do all we can to change their policies. Instead of suggesting ways to boycott them, maybe you can suggest ways to convince them of their mistakes, so that they can do their good for everyone, regardless of sexual preference or any other factor. Be totally inclusive. That is the spirit of the season, isn’t it?

        I hope you, and everyone, have a Merry Christmas.

  4. that sounds like a fantastic event. Did the handbell choir improvise, or did they follow a predetermined script? I just love carol of the bells.

  5. How does one specifically seek out a gay organization without making a statement about that organization? The Salvation Army thing works because they have bell ringers everywhere, not because they are, specifically, the Salvation Army. If there were an outreach from gay organization that was as ubiquitous as the Salvation Army bell ringers, then I’m sure IE would be just as likely to have included them in one of their skits.

  6. How does one specifically seek out a gay organization without making a statement about that organization? The Salvation Army thing works because they have bell ringers everywhere, not because they are, specifically, the Salvation Army. If there were an outreach from gay organization that was as ubiquitous as the Salvation Army bell ringers, then I’m sure IE would be just as likely to have included them in one of their skits.

Comments are closed.