The Hands Behind the Bells of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign

The red-bib, bell-ringers of the Salvation Army are icons on many sidewalks this time of year. A beacon for loose change and dollar bills.

Donald Clynes works the bell’s as a remembrance for his grandmother, who used to walk him around the city as a kid.

Clyne lives in Arizona but came back to take care of his dying mother. “We’ll all have to face it someday,” he said. “Which is too bad, but it’s part of life, or should I say, it might be bad, because I don’t know, it could great!”

Charles Dillion was laid off. He used to work as an usher at a movie theater and needed work during the holidays. “My peoples, my peoples, they’re doing alright,” he said. After December 24th, when the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign ends, Dillion plans to study-up on computers, in hopes of getting office work.

These two are paid minimum wage and work five days a week but seem not to mind:

The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign began in the late 19th century. This year, its staffers have raised more than $700,000 on a $3,000,000 goal.

Written on the wall next to the Salvation Army’s headquarters on 14th Street, a few words from its founder, General William Booth:

“While women weep, as they do now,
I’ll fight,
While men go to prison, in and out,
In and out, as they do know,
I’ll fight,
While there is a drunkard left,
While there is a poor lost girl
upon the street,
While there remains one dark soul,
Without the light of God,
I’ll fight–
I’ll fight to the very end!”

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