Bell ringer likes seeing the best in people

Posted at 7:11 AM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 09:13:52-05

Phil Ray says Christmas isn’t just about kids getting toys, it’s about helping families get food on the table.  That’s why he has been ringing the bell for the Salvation Army for more than 20 years.

Ray is one of the volunteers honored this month by Denver7 and US Bank for “Making Things Possible” through their work.

He got started bell ringing in the 90s when his daughters were young and he’s just kept going ever since.

“I thought it was such a worthy thing to do, I got a close up look at the Salvation Army and what they do,” Ray told Denver7.  “They do so many good things.” 

Ray’s bell ringing made the news this last Christmas eve when his kettle was stolen from outside an Arapahoe County King Soopers store.  But he said that negative quickly turned into a positive.

“The amazing thing that I found after that, people were so concerned and so generous that after we talked  to everyone and police came, I think we rang the bell for another hour and people were incredibly generous,” Ray said.

Ray said those people are best thing about bell ringing.

“There is just a whole spectrum of people who want to give.  I’ve seen children come up with their piggy banks and they’ll put money in the kettle,” Ray said.  “It’s nice to see the young children bring in their savings and want to help somebody.  All the way up to the senior citizens.  People are very generous, it’s a nice time of year.”

To learn more about the Salvation Army and how you can help, visit