97-year-old rings bells for Salvation Army

Stanley Crist ringing bells. (Source: Mary Richardson/Salvation Army)
Stanley Crist ringing bells. (Source: Mary Richardson/Salvation Army)
MSU Banners members ringing bells. (Source: Mary Richardson/Salvation Army)
MSU Banners members ringing bells. (Source: Mary Richardson/Salvation Army)

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Black Friday is notorious for its doorbuster deals and crowded stores, but one local 97-year-old will be spending his Black Friday giving back to the community.

Stanley Crist has been a longtime supporter of the Salvation Army, but he got more involved when his daughter, Mary Richardson, began serving as a member of the organization's advisory board two years ago.

Crist has rung bells for the Salvation Army in the past, and this year he will be doing it again, alongside churches, service clubs, homeschool groups, sports teams, businesses and civic organizations. Among the volunteers will be members of McNeese Banners, local Kiwanis Clubs and Rotary Clubs.

The Salvation Army is still in need of volunteers to ring bells at its Red Kettle locations this holiday season. To register, call 433-4155 and ask the operator about bell ringing or email Joyce VanDenber, bell ringing coordinator, at joyce_vendendburg@uss.salvationarmy.org.

"When volunteers do one kettle for a day, it saves us $80 for each person we would have had to pay to man the kettles. Instead, that money can be given to our homeless shelter or feeding program," said Major David Craddock, Corps Officer.

This year, the Salvation Army's goal is to raise $100,000. Last year, they raised about $97,000, Craddock said. Citizens can donate at any kettle location from Black Friday up until Christmas Eve.

"Bell ringing started in 1891 in San Francisco to raise money for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners at the docks. Volunteers set up kettles, and the tradition came to the West then to the East, and now it's worldwide," Craddock said.

The Salvation Army will also be collecting toys through the Angel Tree Toys program at the Prien Lake Mall, the Capital One Building and Olive Garden in Lake Chares. The Salvation Army will be participating in the KPLC Community Christmas program, which will have toy and food donation boxes at area Wal-Mart, Krogers and Market Basket locations.

The Salvation Army Office is located at 3020 Legion St. in Lake Charles.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.