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Salvation Army bell ringer gets a "second chance" | News

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Salvation Army bell ringer gets a "second chance"
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It's the familiar sound of the Salvation Army bell.

Cassie Collins just never thought she'd be the one ringing it.

"They gave me a job. They gave me another chance at life," Collins said.

13 years ago, Collins and her three sons were homeless. She struggled with drugs and alcohol and relied on assistance from the Salvation Army. When she she heard about a bell ringer position.

It turned out to be more than a job for Collins. Standing outside of a Macon grocery store became a chance to meet people who helped her get back on her feet. She received housing through the Salvation Army, and strangers who heard her story offered her everything from food to free dental work.

"He did over $500 worth of mouth work. I just love this job. I do it every year, rain, sleet or snow. I meet a lot of people. I get to witness and minister to people and it just does me good. And I pray to God that he allows me to ring the bell 13 more years."

Collins now works full-time at a furniture store. Those sons are in school, and she no longer relies on the money from bell ringing to survive. She says she'll never forget what a little bell and red kettle did for her years ago.

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