by Donna McCollum
From now until Christmas Eve, Ruth Duke will be ringing her Salvation Army bell for eight hours a day in all kinds of weather. When asked if she hears ringing bells in her sleep, she answered, "No, I'm completely at peace when I go home because I know I've done something for somebody else."
The Nacogdoches Salvation Army has helped a lot this year. Ruth's husband, Eddie, sees to that. The chapter board chairman said, "Right now, we're spending approximately $1200 a month for people who are in need. For instance, we had five house burnings where people lost everything."
And then there was the unexpected disaster service. District Director LaVenia Owens said, "During Hurricane Rita and Katrina, the Salvation spent right around $200,000 on meals, bus tickets, clothing, and just whatever the unmet needs were of the hurricane evacuees."
So, understandably, the Salvation Army is wanting you to drop a coin into the kettle. Unfortunately, there aren't too many kettles out there for a lack of bell ringers. There are some volunteers signed up, but on most days, the Dukes are the only two bell ringers in Nacogdoches, even though four locations are available to them. That hurts, considering on an average day, up to $500 can be collected in a kettle. Every cent stays with the local chapter.
Bell ringers can volunteer from two hours to all day. Volunteers are encouraged to divide shifts among their co workers or friends. To volunteer for the Nacogdoches Salvation Army drive, you may contact Nancy Raines at Region's Bank, or call Eddie Duke at 936-591-4514.