Through the power of a jingle and a smile, every year Salvation Army bell ringers collect donations outside of stores for the less fortunate.
Last year, Payson bell ringers collected $25,900, a Southwest Division record for the Salvation Army and a personal best for event organizer Ray Kinsman.
While Kinsman is proud volunteers managed to collect so much, especially during a recession, he says he is in need of volunteers for this year’s upcoming holiday season.
Every year, for the past five years, Kinsman has organized enough volunteers to collect more and more donations. This year is no different. Kinsman hopes to raise $30,000 to aid needy families struggling to pay bills or buy food.
It only takes two hours to cover a shift, but the results can help hundreds of families.
Kinsman said he has 404 spots to fill. Last year 216 people volunteered, which meant people had to cover more than one shift.
Several people stepped up to volunteer including DJ Craig who jingled seven times and Noreen Holland, Dave Yoder and Don Wilson who did it nine times over the 14-day period.
This year, volunteers will be posted for 15 days starting Nov. 27 through Christmas outside of Walgreens, Walmart and Safeway.
All money raised stays local and is distributed by Jenny Scott at National Bank of Arizona.
To volunteer, call Kinsman at (928) 474-6577.
Kinsman, 85, got involved with the Salvation Army after he saw the program was only bringing in $8,000.
“I figured I could do it after running a business for 18 years,” he said. And he was right. Every year Kinsman rounds up enough volunteers and donations than the year before.
“It means as much to me if you do one shift as if you do nine,” he said.
A potluck for new and previous volunteers will be held at 6 p.m., Nov. 14 at the Payson First Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway.