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Red Kettle Campaign rings in spirit of giving (video)

Sonny Long

By Sonny Long
Nov. 29, 2013 at 5:29 a.m.
Updated Nov. 30, 2013 at 5:30 a.m.

The soft sound of jingle, jingle hung in the air as dollar bills rolled in neatly tucked into the Salvation Army's Red Kettle located outside of Hobby Lobby at 8404 N. Navarro St.

Four-year-old Amyra Hernandez smiled broadly as she tried to stuff a dollar bill into the Salvation Army's red kettle outside Hobby Lobby on Friday morning.

"It won't fit mommy," she said, struggling with the uncooperative bill.

"Fold it," her mother, Jennifer Hernandez, instructed.

Bell ringer Olivia Ortiz stepped in, folded the bill and handed it back to Amyra, who slid it into the opening in the red kettle.

Amyra, still beaming, then folded a second bill herself and stuffed it in the kettle.

"Thank you and merry Christmas," Ortiz said.

Hernandez said she gave her daughter the cash to donate to the Salvation Army for a specific reason.

"I want her to learn that Christmas is about giving, not just receiving," Hernandez said.

Bell ringers for the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, now in its 123rd year nationwide, are stationed at locations throughout Victoria.

Donations help the Salvation Army provide toys for children at Christmas, food for the hungry and help fund various social service programs throughout the year.

Salvation Army Capt. Mark Martin, who has been a bell ringer since 1989, said donations to the red kettle campaign show how generous the people of Victoria are.

Also outside Hobby Lobby on Friday, Ralph Lau, of Victoria, also dropped money in the kettle.

"It's good to help them out a little," Lau said. "They do a good job."

Ortiz, in her second year volunteering as a bell ringer, said she enjoys the people, and the people seem to enjoy her smile and warm greetings.

"I do it for many reasons," she said. "It helps the Salvation Army help people.

"It gives hope."



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