Bell Ringer Performs for 36 Hours Straight

Matt Sims stands in front of his kettle after a 36-hour performance! Photo Courtesy of

The Salvation Army’s Christmas Red Kettle campaign begins next Friday but a few ambitious communities are jumping the gun with some rather unique ways of raising awareness of the annual collections.

Like Matt Sims, music director for the Salvation Army, Central Virginia Area Command in Richmond VA, who played his euphonium for 36 hours straight over the weekend next to a red kettle to create a buzz and raise money for Salvation Army programs.

Wrapped up in blankets to brave the cold! Photo Courtesy of

Never attempted by a Salvation Army musician previously, Matt entertained crowds and shoppers with Christmas carols outside of a local store from 9 a.m. on Friday until 9 p.m. on Saturday. He played through his book of 130 songs about 24 times. At one point over night, the temperature dropped to the 20’s!

After all was said and done, his musical efforts and admirable commitment paid off. He raised $2,500 that will go directly to those in need. We can only imagine that his mouth and muscles were VERY sore thereafter!

Thank you, Matt for your dedicated support of The Salvation Army!

The Salvation Army of Central Virginia contacted the Guinness Book of World Records to find out if Matt made the official record. Click Here to view the article.

A pleased crowd member! Photo Courtesy of

We’d love to hear about the ways in which you raise awareness of The Salvation Army Christmas red kettles in your area. Please send your stories to For more information on The Salvation Army, please visit