The Salvation Army bell ringers

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News 12 at 6:00, December 15, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- It's that time of year. The stores are busy and the bells are ringing. For Eleanor Baird, this is her first time ringing the bell. She spent her day at Surrey Center.

"I think it's a great way to get into the spirit of Christmas and to think about people that don't have things that other people do," Eleanor Baird said.

And she said its a great way to show her two children how to give back to others.

"They love it. They like putting the money in the pot, so that's fun for them," Baird said.

12 to 15 groups were out all over the CSRA, taking their turn at ringing the bell. Bell ringers were standing close by the red kettles at Walmart, Kmart, Kroger, Bi-Low, Sams, Augusta Mall, and Surrey Center. We found a group from Strom Thurmond High School at the North Augusta Walmart.

"It's good that we can help contribute to such a good cause, because there's so many needy people and it's a great feeling to know that a small school like ours can make a difference," Valerie Mabe said.

The Salvation Army said donations are up. Last year, they collected $205,000 and so far this year they are over $100,000 and they still have until Christmas Eve.

"If everyone going in and out of a store today just drops 50 cents or a dollar in that kettle, it really adds up," Laurie Harmon said.

The Salvation Army helps more than 3,500 families in the CSRA during Christmas.

"Any money that you donate to Salvation Army stays in Augusta, right here and could be helping your neighbor," Harmon said.

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