Spokane teen rings bells for Salvation Army as his birthday wish

Christmas is a little over a week away. For one local teen, it’s not just Christmas that’s coming, it’s also his birthday.

Instead of asking for things 16-year-olds normally ask for, he’s using this opportunity to give back to others.

It’s the sound of the holiday and the sound of giving. For Harrison Armstrong, it’s more than that.

“My mother wrote a letter to the commissioner asking him to ring,” said Harrison.

Harrison’s mom Gerriann Armstrong found out he had autism when he was just a little kid.

“Most kids are asking for things like video games, expensive electronics – that kind of stuff,” said Gerriann.

Instead of focusing on ways it makes her son different, she chooses to focus on how it makes him unique.

“When he loves something, he sticks with it,” said Gerriann

One of those things is bell ringing. However, this time he was able to bell ring with someone he considers his hero.

“When I heard from Harrison’s mother that he wanted me to come and ring bells with him here in Spokane, I couldn’t say no,” said Kenneth Hodder, Commissioner for the Salvation Army.

Hodder oversees the entire operation of the Salvation Army in the western United States. He traveled all the way from California to be here for Harrison’s special day.

“It feels really good for him to come here,” Harrison said.

“To receive a request like this was very special. Quite honestly, this has made my Christmas,” said Hodder.

While bell ringing and singing may be common during the holidays, for these two, it’s a day they’ll never forget.

Harrison Armstrong turns 17 in just a few days, but instead of presents, his birthday wish was to ring the bell with Commissioner Ken Hodder of the Salvation Army. Hodder flew down from California to make that wish come true. #4NewsNow pic.twitter.com/GmRVgkjP1B

— Katerina Chryssafis (@kchryssafis) December 16, 2019