SPOKANE, Wash. - Every holiday season you see them outside the major retailers. The Salvation Army bell ringers are a fixture during this time of the year but you might be surprised by who's ringing the bell.
The majority of the bell ringers aren't volunteers. They are actually employed through The Salvation Army. Many of them can't find a job so this temporary one gives them a little holiday hope.
"I like letting the kids ring the bell, they smile so big and they love putting money in the kettle," bell ringer Rose Campbell said.Salvation Army providing jobs this holiday season
They'll also be putting money in the pockets of people like Rose and her fiance Dale House.
"We are hard workers. We are out there in the cold, we show up everyday and we do our job," House said.
Campbell and House are both out of work. They hope this temporary job leads to much more.
"I'll have my resumes with me and I'm really hoping that maybe someone who has an opportunity for a job will stop by," Campbell said.
"If I had no more bell ringers because they all had a job, that would be a fantastic success," Captain Kyle Smith of the Salvation Army said.
Each year Captain Kyle and the Salvation Army hire more than 200 bell ringers. Their smiles and holiday spirit raised $385,000 last year, a third of that money pays for the ringers' salaries.
"Volunteers can do so much but this is a great way of really helping people, putting money back in people's pockets so they can provide for their own families and have the dignity of saying I worked this Christmas," Captain Kyle said.
The $9.04 each hour adds up. It helps pay rent and put food on the table. It not only provides cash but hope for the holidays.
"We get to earn a paycheck and we are also helping other people so it makes me feel good as a person," Campbell said.
The only day this couple requested off is on December 12th, their wedding day. Captain Kyle will need the day off too since he'll be marrying them at the Salvation Army Chapel.
You have plenty of time to give to the Salvation Army. The bell ringers will be out in full force until Christmas Eve.