Kroger Holiday Hours
December 25, 2011 by staff
Kroger Holiday Hours, Like the iconic red kettle itself, Salvation Army bell ringer Ron Mitchell has become synonymous with Christmas and the spirit of helping others in Lexington. The longtime turf writer has been ringing the bell at the Kroger on Euclid Avenue for close to 20 years, the past three for which he was recognized as the top individual bell ringer in the area.
And, like many who volunteer for the widely known international organization, Mitchell gives his time and effort because someone once helped him.
“When I was growing up, my family at times did not have a lot of money, and so we were helped from time to time at the holidays,” he said.
Although he doesn’t recall whether the Salvation Army was one of the organizations that lent a hand to his own family, Mitchell could think of no better group through which to volunteer his time.
“The main thing is the fact that the red kettle campaign has a real identification with the holiday season, and it’s been such a tradition for so long that a lot of people, especially children, really get into dropping money in the kettle,” he said.
In addition, “most people know – and I really know because I did research on it before I began volunteering – that more of the money raised for the Salvation Army goes to the end user. That’s what’s really satisfying to me,” he said.
Mitchell also figured that he had plenty of time, especially during the holidays, to devote to the cause.
“I realized that during Christmas a lot of people, because they have big families and children, really can’t make the time to volunteer. So, being childless and having a very short gift list for which to shop, I figured I had time; whereas, a lot of people don’t,” he said.
Plus, he said, “Ringing the bell is actually the easiest part of the Salvation Army effort. Anyone can do it. The real work is by those volunteers and Salvation Army professionals who manage the shelter 24 hours a day and respond to emergencies.”
Mitchell, in his familiar red apron and always-changing Christmas-themed hats, went to work ringing the bell in his own neighborhood at the Euclid Avenue Kroger, where he’s been ever since. He chose that spot because he knew a lot of people who shopped there.
“It’s really hard for somebody to ignore you when you ring the bell and make eye contact with them and call them by name,” he said
When Mitchell first became a bell ringer, he volunteered three nights a week and on Saturdays. Now, he’s cut back to two nights a week ringing the “real” bell and devotes the rest of his time to his “virtual” bell – an online site through which people can make contributions. In the past three years, since creating his online kettle, Mitchell has raised between $5,000 and $6,000 for the Salvation Army’s largest fund-raiser, which goes to support local, year-round programs.
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