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Salvation Army bellringers are out asking for donations

News Photo by Mike Gonzalez Brenda Kinzle, a volunteer bellringer of the Salvation Army, stands in front of the Alpena Walmart on Friday morning.

ALPENA — Every holiday season, Salvation Army bellringers across the nation stand in front of local stores and offices to get donations from passersby.

Maj. Prezza Morrison, corps officer and pastor of the Alpena Salvation Army, said that anyone can join in and ring bells for the nonprofit organization.

“If you’re retired, a family, a first responder, or anyone, really, you can volunteer and do this,” Morrison said. “When people do this, they usually have a lot of fun and want to do it again. They like to share stories about people donating and how generous people can be.”

Morrison said that the Alpena Salvation Army mostly gets volunteers to ring bells, but that the organization also hires people who need a second income and may be struggling financially.

Ron Bredow, a volunteer bellringer in front of one side of the Alpena Walmart, said that he volunteers because he enjoys doing it.

“You know, giving back to the community by ringing the bell — it’s been a joy for me,” Bredow said. “I see a lot of generous people right now, donating and giving, and it’s helping a lot of people.”

Bredow and Brenda Kinzle, another bellringer on the other side of Walmart, were both layered up with gloves, a red Salvation Army smock, and other winter apparel to ensure they stayed warm while standing outside for hours at a time.

Both bellringers have volunteered for about five years, each, and want to continue helping their community.

“I wanted to start doing this because of what they do for the community and everything,” Kinzle said. “It helps people in the community that need support.”

According to Maj. Morrison, the money donated to bellringers goes back to the Alpena Salvation Army and will provide monetary assistance for people who need it.

Monetary assistance from the organization includes utility bill assistance, clothing vouchers for a Salvation Army resale shop, and even the rent or mortgage of a financially struggling person.

Morrison said those who want to become a bellringer can go to registertoring.com and register. She also said that the website’s default option for volunteering is 2 hours when selecting your schedule, but anyone can set up a longer shift.

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