OREGON CITY -- A bell ringer in Oregon City has come up with an entertaining way to get cash in the kettle. Brian Henderson is in his second year of serenading for the Salvation Army.
“When I first started, I would just stand and ring the bell,” he remembered. “Then I started whistling, and I noticed the donations picked up.”
He learned the words to about 10 carols, determined to motivate the shoppers with music.
“He’s great. I love his singing,” commented a woman on the way into Fred Meyer.
Henderson averages $350 during an eight hour shift, which makes him one of the top bell ringers in the county.
“I think I sound like a back alley cat crooning but everybody tells me I sound good,” remarked Henderson.
Overall the Salvation Army in the Portland area is running 24 percent behind in its goal to raise $900,000 to help 20,000 people in need this holiday season.
Brian Henderson is determined to make a difference one tune at a time even though he can’t clearly see the shoppers leaving money.
“I’m legally blind,” he explained. “I can see the shadows and hear the carts rattle, but occasionally when someone is very quiet, I miss giving them a thanks and Merry Christmas.”
Henderson earns minimum wage for his efforts, but it’s more than a job.
“I love that I get to help support such important programs. I’m tired when I get home but I feel jazzed,” he concluded before offering up his rendition of Elvis’ Blue Christmas.