Dedicated Salvation Army bell ringer fights back tears when surprised with service award

Picture of Salvation Army bell ringer

Ann Woodbury is 72 years old and loves being a Salvation Army bell ringer - so much she's been doing it year after year.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Ann Woodbury is 72 years old and loves being a Salvation Army bell ringer – so much she’s been doing it year after year.

“I’ve been bell ringing for over 20 years.”

Why has she done it for two decades? She told WTKR she enjoys greeting people.

You will find her doing just that outside the main entrance to Chesapeake’s Greenbrier Mall, year after year.

James Allison is grateful for Ann’s dedication. He’s the Area Commander of the Salvation Army of Hampton Roads.

“Someone like Ann is just such a blessing because she’s always there, never off… never takes a day off. She’s there every day,” Allison said.

So, when you’re out shopping and you hear that bell ringing, when you give to ringers like Ann, that money stays in the community and helps out many people who are in need, as Major Allison points out.

“We operate the Men’s Hope Center on 19th Street for men who need a place to stay, who do not have a place to live. It also goes to support our Hope Village, where homeless women and children stay.”

And this time of the year, the Red Kettle program is especially important so local kids in need can find something under the tree.

“But 10,000 children are counting on us, and we need every kettle to be manned this Christmas season.”

That’s why bell ringers like Ann play such a vital role. And for those reasons, News 3 presented her with a People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

It all had her fighting back tears.

“Thank you! Thank you so much. I didn’t expect this. Bless you. Thank you so much.”

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