The top fund raising Salvation Army bell ringer hopes to raise even more this year, because he sees more need than ever.
KANSAS CITY, Missouri - It's the time of year when you can hear Salvation Army bell ringers all over town. But one of them stands out among the rest.
Harold Hepfer is a bell ringing machine. "Tireless" is a word that comes to mind.
"I started at about a quarter to seven this morning and I'll go to about nine o'clock tonight," Hepfer said as he rang his bell on the chilly north side of a Wal-Mart near I-29 and Barry Road.
And those hours make a typical bell ringing day for Harold during this Christmas season.
"I generally put in about a fourteen hour day," he said.
That kind of commitment gets results.
"I've been number one bell ringer for several years. Last year I brought in over twenty-eight thousand," Hepfer said, referring to his personal fund raising dollar total.
And this year his goal is to raise thirty thousand dollars. He's got some strategies.
First he gets into a bell ringing rhythm, then...
"Sometimes I'll get a Christmas carol in mind and I'll play that out," he said.
If you ask him why he goes to so much trouble, his answer is simple...
"'Cause I realize the need," he stated simply.
Harold's seen where this money goes and he knows it's needed now more than ever. Fortunately he's got a very receptive audience.
"The people around Kansas City are very generous," he said.
To Harold, his job description is straightforward.
"I'm here. I do what I can and God brings the people and they put the money in."