Great Neighbors: Bell Ringers

POSTED: 03:12 PM MST Dec 16, 2013 
Great Neighbor Salvation Army
AMMON, Idaho -

You see them every Christmas - the Salvation Army bell ringers.

Bell ringer Gary Porter spends 8 hours a day, six days a week in front of stores collecting donations. He began the middle of November and will continue until December 23rd.

"Actually I enjoy it, I really enjoy it,” Porter says. "The people, the people are friendly, they love to talk."

Porter lost his job recently, so someone suggested he apply for the bell ringers job. The Salvation Army says they couldn't do the job if it weren't for the bell ringers.

"Without them we wouldn't be able to raise the amount of funds that we do,” says Major James Halverson of the Salvation Army. “Also, I think it's nice we're able to offer them a job this time of the year- they can take some of this funding and pay rent or buy food or even gifts for their family. They do a great job for us."

And while Porter appreciates the thanks he gets for standing out in the cold ringing the bell, he says it's the people who donate who deserve the praise.

"I get told every day thank you for standing out here and doing this but if it wasn't for the community and their contributions we wouldn't be here so we have to tip our hats to them too," Porter says.

Major Halverson says donations are down a little this year compared to last - maybe because of the recent cold snap, but there's still a little over a week left to drop your donations into the red kettle.