WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — You can hear them before you even get out of your car, the Salvation Army and its bell ringers have set up red kettles around town throughout the holiday season!
And around Wichita Falls, one extra jolly bell ringer seems to get people in the holiday spirit a little easier than most.
“About six months before Christmas, I’ll let it all grow down,” Bobby Mills said.
But Mills is better known by the Salvation Army and around red kettles as Santa Claus.
“It’s all about helping people, hey how are you today. Merry Christmas God bless you for that ma’am thank you,” Mills said.
He’s been doing this a while, actually volunteering his time ringing bells for going on 14 years now.
“Until about Christmas Eve, I’m out here, either here, Sam’s, Walmart, somewhere, they just bounce me around,” Mills said.
Making days brighter and raising money for those who need it most.
“And that right there is the main reason why I do it, the kids, whenever the kids walk up and they look at you and they want to hug you, you couldn’t ask for a better thing,” Mills said.
Since he volunteers his time every day during the holiday season, chances are you’re going to see this man in the big red suit.
And the Salvation Army knows how to capitalize on its most jolly bell ringer with an upcoming classic face-off between two old foes.
“We already had a Santa and we thought well we got to put a Grinch in there somewhere because the Grinch has become a Christmas figure now,” Major Kim Feinhauer said.
It’s all for the Salvation Army’s National Red Kettle Challenge to raise $1 million nationwide in a three-hour span.
“I know some people identify with the Grinch so they may want to put some in the Grinch’s kettle,” Feinhauer said
Whether team Santa or team Grinch, Mills doesn’t mind. He’ll still be ringing away for years to come.
“I’ll keep doing this until I can’t move,” Mills said.
Santa vs. Grinch is Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m., at the Market Street on Kell so get out and support on Friday, December 3.