We see and hear them all around town. Tis the season of the red kettles. Since 1891 the Salvation Army has been helping those in need. Today in the U.S., The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the Thanksgiving and Christmas time periods.

During my time out front of Safeway today I met a Salvation Army Bell Ringer. Her story is one worth sharing.

Ray Michaels

This morning the traffic was slow in and out of the store. Both the bell ringer and I were set up outside. Her and her kettle on one side, me and my 95 Rock tent on the other. Having no one else to talk to, I walked over and introduced myself. She told me her name. I passed along one of my business cards. I asked her how she wound up out front of the Safeway on Horizon Drive on this chilly morning. She told me she worked for a temp agency and was bell ringing for extra income. She also informed me that her helping the Salvation Army was "the right thing to do because they have helped me." She at one time had been without work and went through a challenging time in her life. However, party because of that help, and her hard work, she now has a college degree and looking for more permanent work. "That's an amazing story" I replied.  "There's more stories I could share. There's allot of us out here." We continued to visit for a few minutes. "I'd better get back to my post," I said. With that, I shook her hand and wandered back to my tent.

So the next time you spot a Salvation Army bell ringer don't pass by without dropping a donation in the red kettle. Yes, the constant ringing can be a bit annoying but know there's much more to the story. Because it's true, they're "doing the most good."