Lower East Side, People

“It’s for a good cause”

Raymond Clark rings his bell, decked out in a standard-issue Salvation Army frock and a red winter hat, “Milwaukee” emblazoned across the front. He greets comers and goers as they pass by.

“Have a good day, ma’am … have a good day, guys,” he says. No one gets by without a few kind words.

Clark has been a “bell ringer” for six years. “Um, well, a friend of mine was ringin’ a bell and he told me about it and I went and looked up,” he says. “This is my fourth year, right here, at this spot.”

The army of ringers start on November 2nd and appeal for people’s charity until Christmas Eve, their last day. “I enjoy interacting with people, you know … it’s fun,” says Clark.

“I have had a lot of experiences … I’ve had good experiences, I’ve had bad experiences, out here,” he says. “Usually good.”

Clark, A life-long Milwaukeean who was raised on the North Side, says even though he’s looking for paying work, right now, he doesn’t mind giving his time to help others.

“It’s just—they do good for people,” he says. “They do a lot for people.”


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