Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Warsaw's Man In Red Embodies Holiday Spirit

In Warsaw, Santa Claus isn't the only jolly man in red who's spreading joy and making a difference this holiday season!

Brian Heisler has made a name for himself as a holiday fixture at Tops Friendly Market, where he volunteers his time as a Salvation Army bell ringer.

For the past five winters, Brian has donned the familiar red apron up to three days a week.  Accompanied by Arc of Livingston-Wyoming Habilitation Specialist Richy Campbell, Brian mans the red collection kettle as a way to give back to his local community, where the money is used to help people in need.

Brian, who lives in an Arc-operated house in Warsaw, takes pride that all of the money he helps to raise will be used locally in Wyoming County.

"It feels good when people fill up the kettle," Brian says.  "I've had moms donate together with their tiny kids.  Sometimes they think I'm Santa Claus, which brings a smile to their faces."

Because the contents of the kettle are kept under lock and key, it's hard to know exactly how much money this surrogate Santa collects during any given shift—but "that kettle is pretty heavy by the time we're through," he says.

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