Salvation Army assures public donating is still safe

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - Usually people put money in the Salvation Army Red Kettle, not the other way around. But this Holiday season, that's just what we saw happen. The story has a happy ending, with many people say they aren't going to stop donating because of one bad apple.

Salvation Army bell ringers are a December staple, filling malls and stores of all kinds. Shelley Futrelle says that the Salvation Army jumped to action when they first found out about the possibility of someone stealing the money that they were collecting.

"My bosses went out and used their binoculars, and then they sent their son up to put some money in and he put it halfway in and halfway out. What we encourage the bell ringer to do is make sure that it's tamped down into that kettle. And when he walked in, she took the money and put it in her pocket."

41-year-old Tyneka Porter is accused of stealing the money, but the happy conclusion is that money being recovered. Futrelle says that Porter "made a donation" right back into the kettle.

Even with this theft, many people aren't going to let this stop them from helping out during the holidays. Shae Hall is one person who donated, and she says she won't stop. She says, "Just because someone didn't do the right thing doesn't mean the whole world isn't going to do the right thing. Texans are made up of great stuff. After the hurricanes, look what we did. We're going to take care of Texans. Too bad for her. I'd hate to be her conscience, and try to sleep at night."

As for the other bell ringers, they're disappointed in what happened, but they'll continue the work that they love.

Brandon Campsey says that the situation ended as well as it could have, saying, "It's taught all our new bell ringers that they shouldn't do it. It's keeping them in line and making everybody honest."


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