It was so much fun ringing the bell for the Salvation Army in front of Walmart last Saturday, seeing all the excited kiddies, greeting our friends, and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

But after one lady put a donation in the red kettle, she asked us if any of the donated money stays here, or is it sent out of the county? We didn't know, so we asked Bell-Ringer-in-Chief Dana (who is rumored to be a real live elf) for the answer.

"One-hundred percent of the money raised in this county is used to help people who live in Del Norte," Dana said. "And not only that, but when anyone donates through the mail to the Salvation Army, the money raised that way is always sent to the local Salvation Army where it came from, based on the zip code on the envelope."

If you've got a couple of extra hours to ring a bell for an organization that helps so many people, give Dana the Elf a call at 465-5511. It will give you a warm glow, no matter how chilly the weather. Merry Christmas!