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snopes
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Comment: My mother has always told me that Salvation Army bellringers
during the holidays get a percent of all the money that they collect. She
goes on to say that high traffic places go to the best collectors from the
previous year.

I still give to the bell ringers, but is this true? Are they paid for
thier time?

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Class Bravo
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I'm not sure if they're paid for their time or not, but I have to wonder whether it would be unreasonable if they were. I mean, they're doing work for a noble establishment, but at the same time they have bills of their own to pay.
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Geoff.
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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My roomie worked as a bell ringer last christmas. She was payed 8.00 an hour for it. You also have the option of donating your time if you would like tho.

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Larararara
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I never get paid for my ringing. I've done it for several years, and I've never heard of anyone being paid. My workplace does it for 2 or 3 days every year oustide our business. Not sure if that makes a difference as far as being paid or not.

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Class Bravo
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Maybe it's something your workplace works out with the Salvation Army. If that's the case then you're not necessarily acting as an employee of the Salvation Army but rather as an employee of your normal employer.
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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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My daughter does bell ringing for the Leo Club (the high school affiliated club to the Lions Club). She doesn't get paid, but it is a volunteer thing for them.

The parent of one of my daughter's friends got paid for it- but she worked four to six hour shifts where the high school volunteers from the Leo Club only did two hour shifts.

ETA: My daughter will be bell ringing at Walmart this weekend. That parent was at the local grocery store last year (I don't know if she's ringing this year).

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RangerDog
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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No disrespect intended to the SA, but the bell ringers I have encountered in general drive me crazy. They started last week and will be there until Christmas Eve. They crowd the doors and talk to every one coming and going. Simply put they are nuisances. I stop at the grocery store just about every day and usually pop a $20 in the pot at sometime during the season so I don't see the need for the ringers to try to make me feel guilty for six straight weeks.

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Nicki
Deck the Malls


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You shouldn't feel guilty at all. That is very generous of you to donate $20.
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educatedindian
I Saw Three Shipments


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I worked as a bell ringer for two seasons, beginning the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve. You work 7 hours a day Tues-Thur, 10 hours on Fri-Sat, Sun-Mon off. You generally work from noon til 7PM or 9PM. You get a paid half hour for lunch and two ten minute breaks.

Maybe 95-98% of the ringers are paid. The volunteers for this were small in number and usually only worked 2-3 hours. Not that it takes anything away from their good intentions and good hearts. Very few people are willing to stand in the cold and wind monotonously ringing a bell for hours. But there's good reasons you have to pay most people to do this.

If anyone objects to paying people, keep in mind most of the workers are recruited from homeless shelters, halfway houses, and the SA's own homes for retirees. Some of them also come to work literally from the cardboard boxes they are living in, or heating grates they are sleeping on.

You don't get anything from the collection pots. They're padlocked, only the SA supervisors can get to them. This is more to stop thieves from among the public from taking anything than from the workers. (The threat of retaliation in jail or prison also helps keep the pots secure. The SA often pays for the funerals of victims of gang violence, and inmates have a harsh attitude towards anyone who would steal from a charity or church.)

There is another far less reputable group called the Chaplain Corps that often gets confused with the SA. They have nothing to do with the military and they do have quotas and can take money out of their collection buckets to buy lunch and dinner. They recruit their workers from homeless shelters too, but many dislike the fact that CC allows drinking in their shelters. Many of the SA supervisors can't stand them, since they often crowd out SA collections and take advantage of people confusing the two groups.

It was tiring and mostly boring work, but I enjoyed some parts of it and really needed the money at the time. In my experience the best givers were actually poorer people. (Some of the wealthier people dressed in suits and ties literally threw pennies at you or mocked you, "You'll never get a penny from me!) You saw many people using the SA pots to teach their small children to be generous. Many vets also came up to me and told wonderful stories about the SA helping them during their time in service. And more than a few homeless people came up to you asking for help getting a job as a bell ringer, or getting into a shelter and off the streets.

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callee
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Educatedindian has said it well. I too did my time working as a salvation army kettle worker. in canada they do not ring bells any more, nor are they encouraged to talk to people unless first talked to. my shifts were 8 hours long, and I just stood there, and smiled and said "thank you, merry christmas" to whomever put money in. The scheduling was rather random. if a worker had a prefered location then the captain in charge would try to accomodate, but there was certainly no deliberate scheduling in accordance with last year's results! I mean, obviously some locations do better than others, and generally speaking a kettle worker dressed in full salvation army uniform does better than a non-army person dressed in normal clothes, so the captain would try to schedule the uniformed workers on the good locations to maximise that, but nothing scheming or deliberate like the OP infers.

The kettles were padlocked, and only the accountant back at the office and the captain would open them, and the money was distributed between the individual army corps that was organising the kettle program in that area (and they would use it for their local programs) and the central salvation army headquarters (which would use it for national and international programs).

if I was scheduled on a kettle near an entrance or outside, I would bring my cornet (like a trumpet) and play christmas carols for most of my shift. I liked that better than just standing there. It helped pass the 8 hours better, and made me feel like I was giving something back. And, also, people donated more when I did that.

I always noticed, however, that the poor donated much more than the rich. I always tried to think that the rich had just donated at the office, or donated a cheque so big it had to be delivered in person instead of dropped in a bubble. That did happen, but not often enough to explain all those rich people who would give me annoyed looks.

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a moment for old friends now estranged, victims of the flux of alliances and changing perceptions. There was something there once, and that something is worth honoring as well. - John Carroll

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smackmac
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quote:
Originally posted by educatedindian:
/snip/
There is another far less reputable group called the Chaplain Corps that often gets confused with the SA. They have nothing to do with the military and they do have quotas and can take money out of their collection buckets to buy lunch and dinner. They recruit their workers from homeless shelters too, but many dislike the fact that CC allows drinking in their shelters. Many of the SA supervisors can't stand them, since they often crowd out SA collections and take advantage of people confusing the two groups.


Do they also use the red pots? I'd much rather give the money to the Salvation Army.

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snopes
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Comment: I was told that Salvation Army Bell Ringers get 50% of all money
collected. Can you confirm or deny this?

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educatedindian
I Saw Three Shipments


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Smack:
The Chaplain Corps don't use pots. I remember them using plain white or black open buckets, hand held, that had a card saying something vague like "Please Give" or "Please Help."

They dressed in white shirts with vaguely military looking epaulets and officer's dress uniform hats, even though few had military haircuts. This made many people mistake them for retired chaplains or retired military, but few of them are. They're not associated in any way with the military.

Snopes:
As I said before, we didn't get commissions. We were paid a set wage no matter how much we got. At the time I did this (early 90s) my wage was 5.50 an hour. I see in my local classifieds it's now up to 6 an hour.

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Class Bravo
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educatedindian--

I'm not sure if you misunderstood, but when snopes posts something with "Comment:" in front of it, it means that it is an e-mail he has gotten in the website's inbox from a visitor.

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xtargeeter
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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I worked for The Salvation Army for five years after I retired from the U.S. military. educatedindian got it right.
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magpie
Deck the Malls


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I like the bell ringers around here. All they do is ring their bells, they never try to talk to you or beg for money. I've never liked people outside stores that talk to me as I'm coming in and out.
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Just Me
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Coming out of K-Mart today, there was a bell ringer outside. I was about to give a dollar until I seen how pissed off he looked, and he was smoking a cigarette. I have nothing against smokers, it just looked extremely unprofessional considering he was "on the job".

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Sky
I Saw Three Shipments


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They get paid, at least in Washington. I work with senior citizens, many who are still quite "spry", but low-income. I always point out when these positions come available, as most of them could use an extra buck or two. They are paid an hourly wage here, no "percentage" of the pot.

I'm just shocked that no one in the shelters would take advantage of the jobs. I mean, yeah, it's not exactly a glamourous job, but come on - $6.50 an hour would help anyone.

Hmmm..I wonder if they are still hiring here...gotta go...

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I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Sky said:

I mean, yeah, it's not exactly a glamourous job, but come on - $6.50 an hour would help anyone.

Apparently not everyone.

ETA quote

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Raven
I Saw Three Shipments


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Down here, they recruit at the jail, not the homeless shelter. Ring that bell, or your PO sends you back.

http://www.local6.com/holidays/10532976/detail.html

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NeeCD
Happy Holly Days


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I've never seen any SA bell ringers try to hassle anyone for money, most of the bell ringers I've encountered have just stood there and said hello or wished people Merry Christmas if they made eye contact. The best bell ringer I've encountered was an older man who was belting out carols. He had a decent voice and seemed to be making a nice time out of his day. It really brought a smile to my face, and I made a special effort to have a few bucks for him on the way out of the store.

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What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK!" and other lingo mean?

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happyholidaysfrog
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by callee:
in canada they do not ring bells any more, nor are they encouraged to talk to people unless first talked to.

I wish the ones around here would quit ringing those darn bells. I hate the sound of those, I don't mind them collecting, but do they have to pollute all the area around them with that harsh bell ringing?

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Mother of Nanaballis
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Our Chief of Police is taking his turn as a bell-ringer today in uptown Charlotte. I assume he isn't getting paid to do this.
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Top Kat
Deck the Malls


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Once I was standing outside a grocery store for a while (waiting for my husband to pick me up or something). The store sound system was playing Christmas music, which normally I like. But the Salvation Army collector was ringing the bell, NOT in time to the music, and a car alarm was going off, also not in time to the music. It was really driving me nuts!
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Doug4.7
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quote:
Originally posted by callee:
I always noticed, however, that the poor donated much more than the rich. I always tried to think that the rich had just donated at the office, or donated a cheque so big it had to be delivered in person instead of dropped in a bubble.

I am not sure of your definition of "rich", but I don't dontate to those "point of sale" buckets. I write checks to the charities I like (and have researched) so that I can get the tax break (and at least try to maximize my charitable "ROI"). Less money for the government means more for the charities is the way I feel. I don't quite "tithe" (unless you use my "net" income), but I try.

Now I don't give dirty looks, other than maybe if the bell is getting to me. I try to just move on.

So not all who do not dontate to the buckets actually do not donate.

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And now for something completely different...

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