‘Thank You and Merry Christmas’
Bell ringers hit stores once more
Joyce Shankle was a bell ringer long before you could donate via computer or mobile device.
Shankle, 47, at Walmart Tuesday – was dressed for cold weather – greeting donors.
You could hear her bell clear down to Edgar Brown Drive. She paced back and forth to stay warm.
Her red kettle had two intersecting slots. Inside, you could see the tops of folded dollar bills.
“I’ve been doing this since my daughter was a little girl, and she’s 19 and in college now,” said Shankle, who works full-time in the home health field.
Shankle and her twin sister Judy Chavis, another bell ringer, have a competition of sorts over who can take in the most donations.
“We’ll say to each other ‘I’ll bet I can beat you this year.’ It’s not a real fight to see who wins – it just brings joy to us. It keeps things fun. A lot of people know us but they can’t tell us apart. I wear glasses and my sister doesn’t, but most people can’t remember that.
“They’ll say, ‘I saw you at another store’ but most times they’ll be talking about the other one of us. And being twins ourselves, when we see twins come through the doors we can always tell which one [was born] first and which one wasn’t.”
The Salvation Army-Orange chapter’s Maj. John Queener, busy this week with Thursday’s Toy Coffee and the upcoming “Doll Tea” said, “Donations have been going very well so far. I hope that keeps progressing.”
In addition to seasonal events, the Salvation Army partners throughout the year with Orange Christian Services to help needy children and families.
Despite Tuesday’s cold and all-day drizzle, Shankle said she learned how to dress for bell-ringing a long time ago.
“I always bundle up well,” she said. “At least three shirts and a jacket.
“My daughter used to ask me when she was little, ‘Mama, why do you do this?’ And I always told her, ‘Because some people aren’t as fortunate as you are. When you give of your time – and of what you have – it always comes back to you.’”
To donate, call the Salvation Army-Orange chapter at 883-4232 or go to www.salvationarmy.org.