Bell Ringers Hope to Collect $155,000 in Northern Virginia

The sound of ringing bells outside supermarkets in Northern Virginia is a sign that the holiday season has arrived.



For Anthony Alexander, a seasonal Salvation Army worker, his small bell symbolizes his way of giving back. Entering his fourth year as a bell ringer, Alexander, who is not employed, says helping raise money to help others is what drives him to come back every year.

“It’s not about the money,” Alexander said Thursday outside a Giant Food store in Falls Church. “It’s about giving back.”

In 2011, the Salvation Army’s National Capital Area – which includes Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William counties and Alexandria City as well as Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Md. – raised $1.4 million from their 250 kettles. Ken Forsythe, spokesman for the Salvation Army, said Northern Virginia accounted for about $400,000 of that amount. The goal in 2012 is to raise $1.6 million that will go toward Salvation Army supported programs, he said. Northern Virginia’s goal this year is to raise $155,000, he said.

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