Bell-ringer making a difference in Sherman - - Texoma news, weather and sports

Bell-ringer making a difference in Sherman

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Jerry Booker has manned a Salvation Army collection kettle for 17 years. (KTEN) Jerry Booker has manned a Salvation Army collection kettle for 17 years. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- 'Tis the season for those famous red kettles stationed outside retail shops, raising money for The Salvation Army.

But almost as well-known is Jerry the Bell-Ringer.

Jerry Booker has cerebral palsy, but that doesn't stop him from volunteering this time every year to help The Salvation Army, something he's done now for 17 years.

"It's something that makes me happy, and it's really a blessing to do what I do," he said.

Booker sets a goal each year for his own Christmas mission --  trying to raise the most money out of all the volunteers.  Last year he beat his record of $600, and this year he hopes to beat a goal of $700 to $800.

"I do it because I like to do it," he said. "I've been taught that it's better to give than to receive."

As of Saturday, Booker had collected more than $200, and his deadline of December 14 is fast approaching. But he says he gets closer to his goal with every dollar in the kettle.

"Every year I beat my record, and it surprises me," he said. "It's just exciting to set a goal and to beat that goal."

So whether you know Jerry Booker from church, or working at the Exxon Mobil station across the street: Listen for Jerry Booker's bell through the Christmas season, and in exchange for a dollar or two, he'll give you a smile that would make anyone warm these holidays.

To contribute to Jerry Booker's mission, you can visit him next Satuday at the Sherman Walmart between 4 and 6 p.m., or you can call the Salvation Army of Grayson County at 903-868-9602.

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