UPDATE: We have just passed 48 hours and Andre is still standing…literally!
Since yesterday community members have pulled together their resources to makes this journey as comfortable as possible for Andre.
Radio stations have set-up on site to do live broadcast, musicians have stopped by to play a few tunes, and DJ Hans delivered a large heater in preparation for the coming temperatures.
Many community members have come by to thank Andre for what he's doing while others have delivered soup, gift certificates for food, energy drinks, candy, fruit, etc. East Texas really wants to win and they are showing it!
The hearts of The Salvation Army are overwhelmed at the generosity and encouragement that has been poured out for Andre! From the beginning Mr. McAnally, the store manager of Walgreen's, has been more than accommodating with the contest. He has printed banners, advertised on his digital sign, allowed us to set up heaters, given us permission to ring inside Walgreen's if the weather gets too bad, allowed for ideal placement of our canteen, etc.
Although we haven't won it yet, because of Walgreens, the community, and Andre, this contest has already been successful!
East Texas has also shown their support financially as Andre's kettle is up to $1912 with the online kettle having $165. Donations can be made on site at Walgreen's on Rieck Rd. and South Broadway or online at www.onlineredkettle.org/exalt. Please stop by to shake his hand (the one that isn't ringing!!!).
TYLER (KYTX) - As of 4:30pm today, three bell ringers have put their bells down including Quinton Green in Handford, CA, Captain Emily Jones in Compton, CA, and Lt. Rob Lawler in Helena, MT.
In Tyler, Andre Thompson aka Exalt, started ringing the bell at 11am on Tuesday and is still ringing away right now.
The contest is taking place at Walgreens on Rieck Rd. and South Broadway. Many donors have started hearing about the contest and stopped by Walgreen's to show their support and issue encouraging words to Andre.
Volunteers are still needed to help witness the contest as it could possibly continue through Friday evening. Shifts in 2 to 4 hour increments are available. Andre hopes to not only break the record of hours rung, but also exceed the amount of money raised last year which was over $4,000.He's about ¼ of the way to reaching his financial goal.
Andre said, " I want to continue to do my part in fighting poverty and homelessness. Thanks to The Salvation Army and my Lord for continuing to put me where I need to be in order to help.This is a national event which means possibly hundreds, thousands or millions could be touched and moved to help others or help The Salvation Army help others."
As this year's contest continues the community is encouraged to make donations at the Walgreen's kettle as well as online at www.onlineredkettle.org/exalt. They are also encouraged to like us on Facebook or follow us Twitter with #RingItOn and leave an encouraging word for Andre. Those interested in volunteering to help supervise the event may contact Chantel Millin at 903-283-8626.