Harlingen native encourages volunteering as Salvation Army bell ringer

Harlingen native encourages volunteering as Salvation Army bell ringer
7 months 23 hours 14 minutes ago Tuesday, December 12 2023 Dec 12, 2023 December 12, 2023 6:26 PM December 12, 2023 in News - Local

The Salvation Army relies on donations to help people in need. All of that donation money stays in the Rio Grande Valley to help local families who need it most.

Bell ringers are a big part of gathering those donations, and the Salvation Army says they're seeing less and less volunteers each year.

For one Harlingen native, this holiday season marks the ninth straight year 20-year-old Seth Vega is ringing the Salvation Army bell to help people in need.

"I feel like it gets a lot of people smiling, like a greeting of a nice friendly Merry Christmas," Vega said.

Back when he was in sixth grade, Vega's great-aunt asked if he wanted to give volunteer work a try. He says putting a smile on people's faces made him want to come back each year.

Through the years, Vega has learned to have more and more fun with it. Now he brings a giant speaker with him to spread the Christmas cheer.

"I'll go around and introduce myself and say, 'hey, would you like for me to play any Christmas songs? Tell me to play a Christmas song, and I'll play it for you' and I'll bring a microphone, and we can go ahead and do karaoke that sorta thing, and we read off my phone," Vega said.

That community engagement is what Salvation Army Secretary Diana Young says they're hoping to expand.

"It's sad to say, but there's not that many volunteers now as there were in the past, and I don't know why," Young said.

Young wants the young generation to know just how much of an impact volunteers have on the community.

Vega hopes that he makes a difference with every ring.

Vega is one of 14 bell ringer volunteers. The Salvation Army says they need 18 in order to cover all stores.

Anyone wanting to volunteer to help make a difference in someone's life like Vega can contact their local Salvation Army chapter or click here.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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