SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - As you walk into the Sam’s Club in Bossier City, you will probably hear the bell — and see the smile — of Earl Hedges as he stands by the front entrance seeking donations for the Salvation Army.
Earl knew months ago, he’d be in Louisiana with a bell in hand.
“I’d messaged the Major and said hey I have my bus ticket, this is the day I’m coming in, can you make sure there’s a bed for me at the shelter," he said.
Homeless in Tucson, Arizona, Earl pledged to come to Shreveport, and did.
“I was able to get a paid bell ringer position and I’m working this season to save money try and get me a place here in Shreveport and try to rebuild my life,” he said.
His motivation? Helping the non-profit that's always been there for him at the lowest points in his life.
“Every year that I find myself homeless and destitute I usually am able to find a local Salvation Army willing to help me get back," he said.
Because he says these donations help more than people realize.
“This is their budget for next year so the more we collect the more funds they have available to help others and that’s really what this is about," said Earl.
Earl, who has collected $4,000 for the Salvation Army so far, describes himself as “blessed and highly favored,” and he’s optimistic about what lies next for him.
“I’m hoping to be able to get a job,” he said. “I’m hoping to be able to get a place to live, and I hope that next year I won’t need to be paid bell ringing. I hope that I’ll be able to volunteer.”
But he knows right now, God has led him right where he needs to be, out in front of the Sam’s Club on Airline Drive in Bossier City from now until Christmas Eve.