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They danced, they sang, they complimented, and by the end of their shifts Wednesday in front of the East Monte Vista Avenue Lucky’s, the kids with the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club had raised an ample amount of funding for the needy by ringing bells for the Salvation Army.
“Thank you guys for being out here and helping other people,” said shopper Olivia Ruiz, dropping money into a child’s fire engine red kettle. “It’s great to see little children out here, taking the time (to help).”
Sarah Quintero, 7, said the bell-ringing was important to her.
“We’re trying to help the military and people that don’t have food,” she said. “I want to help people.”
Leo Santos, 9, said he also enjoyed the entertainment aspect of volunteering.
“It’s fun and we can sing,” he advised, breaking out yet again into the chorus of “Feliz Navidad.”
He inspired the other kids from Team One (there would be many throughout the night from the Club’s four centers) to sing and dance.
“Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad,” they chimed, charming numerous passersby into dropping bills and coins into their kettle.
“This is our third year. They love it. Every year they look forward to it,” said supervising volunteer Susan Schwartz. “It’s a tradition that we have of giving back to the community.”
Club Executive Director Anna Eaton said earlier that the event is a great lesson for the kids.
“We recognize all the great non-profits in our community and will do what we can to support them while teaching our kids the value of caring for others,” she said. “It’s a win-win naturally and the work the Salvation Army does is so important in many communities.”
Capt. Jonathan Harvey with the Salvation Army said he was grateful for the children’s help.
“It’s heartwarming that children are helping and I think (they’re setting) a great example for adults in our community to come out and volunteer,” he said. “Serving can be fun. This is the season to realize it’s important to give back.”
What the youth are doing is ensuring that families in need get fed through the holidays and throughout the year, he continued, as the nonprofit serves tons of needy on a regular basis.
“We need to raise $200,000 this Christmas,” he said, explaining that the money will keep the nonprofit’s numerous social service programs running at least for another year.
There are between 20-25 bell-ringing locations throughout Solano and more ringing volunteers are sorely needed.
Interested in helping?
Visit or call Shylee Bentley at 439-7895.
For more information about the Club, visit
People can reportedly also donate by texting RINGITON to 71777 or mail it to PO Box 1644 Suisun City, CA 94585.
For information on how you can help The Salvation Army, please call 439-7880.
By Kimberly K. Fu,, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter

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