Salvation Army bell ringers back out in the cold

The temperature hovered at 24 degrees as Tom Silver stood in front of an entrance to the Sam's Club.
Tom Jackson
Dec 9, 2010

The temperature hovered at 24 degrees as Tom Silver stood in front of an entrance to the Sam's Club.

Silver said he was ready for the weather.

"Three pairs of socks, long underwear, a coat, a sweater, a long-sleeved shirt, gloves," he said.

Still, it made for a cold five-hour volunteer shift for the 56-year-old Sandusky resident, who wished donors a "Merry Christmas!"

Capt. Stephanie Larrick of the Sandusky Corps of the Salvation Army said bell ringers work from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Walmart, Sam's Club, Kroger, Big Lots, the Sandusky Mall and Mad River Harley-Davidson.

"We do not do kettles on Sunday," said Larrick, 37. "Sunday belongs to God."

The goal is to raise $38,000 to pay for programs that help provide food for people who need it, pay utility bills to help keep the heat on and help with other needs. As of Wednesday, the agency has collected about $14,500 through the kettle campaign.


Want to Help?

Individuals or groups who would like to volunteer as Salvation Army bell ringers may call 419-626-3862 or send an e-mail to stephanie.larrick@use.salvationa....


Kottage Kat

In Norwalk, Walmart is the only business that makes the bell ringers stand or sit out in the weather.  I commend their dedication and this year,  Please give only if it is pennies they all add up. Thank you.


I do have a question about the bell ringers. How are they picked? Are they honest? I do drop a dollar bill into the kettles when I can afford it. But I question if the money is secure. Are the bell ringers screened for honesty? While I am sure that most bell ringers are honest, are any of them criminals that must perform community service? Are the pots emptied from time to time before store closing to ensure some thug will not approach the bell ringers and steal the full pots? When I put my dollar into the kettle, I noticed that one was full and it was hard to stuff my dollar all the way into the pot. I also noticed that the slots were too wide, wide enough for fingers to snatch a few dollars from the kettles. Would somebody from the SA want to elaborate on my concerns?


 Have been a volunteer bell ringer for over 15 years.  People at my place of employment have worked the bells in two hour intervals over a weekend. In my experience, most of the people were volunteer. The pots were switched out every two hours. The kettle opening was a crossed slot and money is not accessible. Don't know if these are standard throughout the country. My experiences have been very positive during the Christmas season.