Parrish boy rings bell to help others
by James Phillips
Dec 09, 2012 | 2756 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As customers entered and exited the Walmart Supercenter in Jasper Saturday morning, they received a “Merry Christmas” from an entusiastic 7-year-old.

Pearson Gurganus, a second grade student at Parrish Elementary, spent two hours Saturday ringing the bell as a part of the Salvation Army of Walker County’s Red Kettle Campaign.

“I love Christmas,” Gurganus said after one person dropped a few coins in the kettle.

Joined by his mother, Renee Gurganus, the youngster warmed the hearts of just about everyone he encountered.

“People have stopped by and given a lot of money,” Renee Gurganus said. “One man even gave a $20 bill.”

Renee Gurganus said her son got the idea to ring the bell after seeing another child participating in the campaign at Son’s Supermarket in Jasper.

“He has wanted to ring the bell ever since then,” she said.

Pearon Gurganus said he wanted to ring the bell because “people need it (the money).”

Lona Courington, director of the Salvation Army of Walker County, said people were lined up to drop money in the kettle while the child volunteered Saturday.

“There were so many people who wanted to give,” Courington said. “It makes a big difference when people see a child out there ringing the bell.”

Courington said the Salvation Army encourages children to volunteer.

“We love to have children ring the bell,” she said. “I think it teaches them a lot about giving back. Children who learn these kinds of lessons will grow up to be adults who are civic-minded.”

The Salvation Army continues to need volunteers for the Red Kettle Campaign, Courington said. To sign up, contact Belinda Ruble at 205-522-0732.