Salvation Army bell ringer speaks out after being robbed

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Salvation Army red kettle bell ringer, who was robbed at a Chattanooga Food City, explained what happened.

It’s that time of year where Salvation Army red kettle bell ringers are out.

Gladys Ervin has been doing this for 9 years. On Tuesday, she was working at the Food City on Lee Highway and Shallowford Road, when she says a man stole her kettle with $200 in it.

“Well, I have never seen the guy go in. Then he went in one door, come out that door. They had already been scoping it out and seen how easy it was to get the kettle off, but he went in this bill folder, like he was going to put money in the kettle and just snatched the kettle,” Ervin said.

She tried to stop him.

“I chased him and yeah he got in a car, a car that had been prowling around in the parking lot, yeah,” Ervin said.

Ervin says the community as a whole is generous. So she was shocked.

“It has never happened the years I have been working. No it has never happened to me,” Ervin said.

After this experience, she has advice for other bell ringers.

“I just tell the coworkers and anybody that is ringing a bell, be leery of what is hanging around.”

She says this incident won’t stop her from ringing.

“I wasn’t afraid to come back out. I was skeptical about it, but then I said, ‘No I am not going to do that. I am going to go back out and let him know he didn’t scare me.'”

The red kettles will be visible now through December 23 where folks can continue to donate.

Categories: Local News