Why you should visit St. Paul's 80-year-old Salvation Army bell ringer

If you're headed to this Walgreens on Randolph in St. Paul, you'll want to make sure Andrew Benjamin is on duty.

For more than 10 years, he's been volunteering for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign. At 80 years old, he's out here 4 days a week, for 4-hour shifts at a time, with a smile and a sunny disposition.

He never complains about the cold. He never calls in sick, which is really quite remarkable this winter. Last March, he was diagnosed with melanoma, and he’s receiving treatment while bell ringing. He says his job is good medicine.

“Andrew is a real gem, he really sets a good example in the community for others to follow,” said Jeff Strickler, Salvation Army city commander.

He’s one part of a much bigger picture.

“I see people who give and they don't look like they can afford to but they give because they think other people need it more than they do,” Benjamin said.