BROOKLYN - When Thanksgiving comes around, Joan Belkay and Carlton Gilmore are called to action, equipped with their Salvation Army bells to help bring some good cheer and assistance to those in need.
The ringing bells of the Salvation Army have become a traditional sound of the holiday season, and Belkay has been out there raising money for more years than she can even remember.
Five days a week, Belkay stands in the entrance of the Kings Plaza Mall ringing her bell, reminding shoppers there are people in need. ?I feel as though I'm serving the lord and serving the world in different ways,? Belkay says. ?And I love this.?
Across the mall, Gilmore is also helping bring in donations. He?s been doing so for 15 years despite his arthritis.
Nationwide, 5,000 communities participate in the 116-year-old Red Kettle Campaign. This year, the Salvation Army says it is seeing unprecedented need because of increased prices.
By Christmas, the seven bell ringers of the Bay Ridge Salvation Army chapter will have exceeded their goal of $30,000.