After 96 years of waiting, a local Salvation Army volunteer is getting a special gift this year.
Dina Lawrence got a chance to be a red kettle bell ringer Thursday. She braved the cold temperatures and said it was well worth it.
"I never have gotten to ring the bell and I always thought it would be so neat to do that," Lawrence said.
At the age of 96, Lawrence can now say she's done it all for the Salvation Army. For the past 50 years she has served Thanksgiving dinner at the shelter and helped with the angel tree in the mall. She also donates each month.
She says she supports the army because they never turn anyone away.
"When you see all the children that are forgotten during Christmas time, that breaks your heart - to think there are children who don't get anything," Lawrence said.
Lawrence knows what it's like to get nothing. She grew up during the Great Depression.
"If we didn't get toys, we always got fruit. We always looked forward to that because we didn't get fruit very often, either," Lawrence said.
She hopes the sound of the ringing bell will remind everyone how it feels to give back.
"It thrills my heart because it shows they have a great foundation when they love to give instead of receive," Lawrence said.
Several of Lawrence's family members also volunteer at the Salvation Army.
The army says they still need to raise $100,000 to meet their goal this year. That money will go toward the army's annual budget and Christmas food boxes that feed more than 9,000 people in the area. The kettles will only be out for nine more days.
For more information about the Red Kettle Program, visit their web site at http://www.uss.salvationarmy.org/uss/www_uss_lubbock.nsf
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