Salvation Army Bell Ringers Receive Heated Vest Donations

Updated: 12/11/2013 5:14 PM By: Heidi Enninga

Some of Minnesota’s truest do-gooders received a donation that will make braving the harsh elements and frigid cold a bit easier.

Minneapolis-based Symtec Inc., donated 10 battery operated heated vests and foot warmers to the Salvation Army to make it more bearable for the bell ringers who stand outside collecting donations for hours.

The Twin Cities Salvation Army said it will use the donation to outfit bell ringers who volunteer for 100 or more hours each holiday season.

"It just made sense to start with our ringers who volunteer huge chunks of time year after year," Major Jeff Strickler, Twin Cities Salvation Army commander said. "They aren't expecting it, but we can't wait to surprise them with this bit of comfort. I am so impressed at how they tough out this cold in order to help us serve people in crisis."

The heated vests are rechargeable, so they’ll be re-usable. The Salvation Army said red kettle donations and volunteer numbers tend to drop with the temperature, so the donation will help the organization meet its $10.8 million Christmas goal.

Salvation Army volunteer Al Schefers said the donation will help him be more comfortable while he serves as a bell ringer for nearly 40 hours this year.

Sign up to bell ring at or call the ringer hotline at 651-746-3519.