World record on the line: Tyler man helping Salvation Army

World record on the line: Tyler man helping Salvation Army

Bigger, better and longer. Since 11:00 Tuesday morning, Andre Thompson has been ringing a bell and manning a Salvation Army red kettle in hopes of breaking a world record for doing so non-stop.

The record was first established at 60 hours in Indiana in 2011. Last year someone upped it to 80 hours in New Mexico.

With that in mind, and a pair of tennis shoes and a penchant for tootsie rolls, Thompson set out on a hand numbing, ear ringing marathon. December 3rd is known worldwide as Giving Tuesday, and is traditionally the time at which these record attempts are made.

"No sleep," he said. "No sitting down. [I'm] hopefully helping somebody out."

There's a long list of rules. But the important one is "just keep ringing."

The thing is, in 2013 everything's on the internet. So Thompson scoped out last year's record-holder.

I kind of looked on YouTube last night and I was like 'how does this guy look?'" Thompson said.

The one thing Thompson said he learned was to have a loose grip on the bell.

At the corner of Broadway and Rieck in in Tyler, Thompson will talk to anyone. But sometimes it's just him and his bell.

Thompson is happily engaged and enjoying his career. So, as far as he's concerned, why not give 80 hours of his life to improve someone else's?

"It ain't no problem," Thompson said. "It's just, you know, it's a long time, but it just depends on what my body and what my mind lets me do."

So whether you're coming or going, why not let Thompson put a smile on your face?

"As long as I've got Jesus on my side," he said.

There are official witnesses at the site all day and all night during the attempt at breaking the record.

Thompson does have a competitor trying to break the record simultaneously in Minnesota.

Thompson's goal is to break the reigning record-holder's total monetary collections as well. That would require more than $4,000 in donations. To donate to Thompson's kettle online, click here.


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