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Woman Calls the Cops on Salvation Army Bell Ringer

Salvation Army bell ringer
Tim Boyle, Getty Images

Last week, one woman decided she had finally heard enough of the Salvation Army’s incessant charity bells.

“I listen to this for 200 hours a year,” said Sarah Hamilton-Parker, who claims she listens to about 40 hours of Salvation Army bell ringing a week during the holiday season. “This is my fourth year, and I can’t take it anymore. I’m so sick of it.”

Even after multiple complaints to both the Salvation Army and local authorities, Hamilton-Parker says nothing has been done to get the bell ringers to move across the street and out of earshot. But according to Police Captain Mike Schwartz, that is because the bell ringers are not technically breaking any noise ordinances because they are given special permits to be on the streets during the holidays.

Still, Hamilton-Parker says she needs the bells to stop. “I’ve looked for every reason to make it go away,” she said. “I’ve got two sets of earplugs—one for me and one for my employee. I have my earplugs on for five weeks. It’s just ridiculous.”

Representatives from the Salvation Army’s Northern New England Division in Portland, Maine, say they are looking into possible ways to remedy the problem, including giving ringers a “dead” non-ringing bell. However, because “the kettle effort is such an important program to help us help other people,” eliminating kettle campaigns on Hamilton-Parker’s street corner is not likely to happen.

[Sea Coast Online]

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