Local pastor celebrates 29 years as “bell ringer” for the Salvation Army

Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 6:47pm

An El Paso man has dedicated almost three decades of his life as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army.

Pastor Thomas Torres says serving the neediest has always been his life priority, it was in 1984 when he started contributing and he hopes to continue serving for many years to come.

"It's not just bell ringing its reaching out to those that need help spiritually and physically not only that there's a lot of families in need of shelter many things and that's where the Salvation Army shelter is available," Torres said.

The sound of the bell ringing for 29 years is what has kept Torres in the hearts of many El Pasoans and it's precisely during the holiday season that he chooses to contribute by raising money for the poor.

He says his motivation is to bring a happy moment for those going through hard times just like someone did when he needed help.

"Salvation Army was Christmas for me when I was a little boy we lived in poverty and the Salvation Army reached out to help us at that time and that's why I'm doing what I'm doing because I'm very proud," Torres added.

But raising funds is not his only achievement. According to Salvation Army officials, the Pastor also donates his bell ringer salary to an orphan children’s shelter in Juarez.

"The salary that he earns from us at the Salvation Army he turns around and then gives back in to the community and so I think looking at Thomas every single day when he walks through our doors I get inspired," Salvation Army Lieutenant Paul Ryerson said.

"We feed them we clothe them we give them the word of God and we're out there doing the same thing the same vision the Salvation Army has," Torres added.

Thomas says that even though his work has been recognized, helping others is just an obligation during this season.

"It’s important to put in the kettles for that purpose so we can help those people that are in need out there," he concluded.

The Salvation Army has collected more than $ 160,000 dollars this year but the goal is at $200,000 that’s why they’re asking for your help.

If you wish to contribute stop by and make your donation when you hear the bell at any local stores.


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