Bell ringing a holiday tradition for one West Tenn. man

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JACKSON, Tenn. — With the holiday season comes traditions. For one West Tennessee man, that means spending his days as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. “It’s just wonderful to be able to bring a smile to somebody’s face,” Charlie Beene said. Beene rings the bell for the Red Kettle Campaign six days a week at the Walmart in north Jackson. Representatives with the Salvation Army said Beene typically brings in more donations than the average of $250. Some believe this could be because Beene does not just ring the bell. “You always want to say ‘Merry Christmas,'” he said. “You always want to have a smile. You always want to present that aura of ‘Merry Christmas.'” Beene can be heard throughout the store’s parking lot singing classic carols and encouraging others to join in. “I’ve had people come back and say, ‘You’re not singing today,’ and I’ll say, ‘What song do you want to hear?'” he said. When asked about spreading the spirit of Christmas, Beene said he tries to make people happy every day. “Well, you’ve got that spirit, and they want to be a part of that,” Beene said. “And you can share that, and they can grow, and they can help somebody. I’ve had so many people take that home and come back the next day and say thank you for that. It makes me feel good because I get something too.” The Salvation Army says $90,000 has been raised so far through the Red Kettle Campaign in West Tennessee, which will run through Christmas Eve.

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