Northland's Very Own: Eldon Lone

By KBJR News 1

December 24, 2010 Updated Dec 24, 2010 at 8:25 AM CDT

He's been spending his holiday by a red kettle, ringing a bell, since he was just 12 years old.

"My mom was doing it so I started to do it," says Salvation Army volunteer Eldon Lone.

For nearly 2 months leading up to Christmas, Eldon Lone puts in 40 hour weeks trying to spread the holiday cheer and make the season a little brighter for many he's never even met.

"I do see Eldon almost everyday out ringing the bell. And it doesn't matter if it's above zero or below he is out there bundled up in his Carharts and always has a smile on his face," says Super One employee Sheryl Carlson.

"When he's out bell ringing he says thank you very much and have a good day and has such enthusiasm which makes people love to give to him," says Major Rosemary Matson of the Superior Salvation Army.

Although Eldon spends much of his time giving to others, he doesn't have much himself.

To keep him warm while loyally ringing his bell the Salvation Army bought Eldon a new snowsuit.

"He thought he could just wear an old jacket and he would be out here shaking. So I make him wear all of his heavy garb now so he's nice and warm out here," says Matson.

Eldon's long hours, out in the cold, have paid off as he raised $15,000 for the Salvation Army last year and about $10,000 so far this year.

And Eldon plans to continue volunteering because it warms his heart to know that's he's helping to bring joy into someone else's life.

"He just gives off the spirit of Christmas. So for us for our bell ringing Eldon is Christmas," says Matson.