VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - It’s the signature sound that the holidays are in full swing: "Thank you, God bless you, Merry Christmas."
The Salvation Army Bell ringers are out, and one in particular knows how important it is to give back.
Less than a year ago, Glen Dias was homeless with no home and no job.
Salvation Army worker A.C. Corpus remembers Glen walking into the men's shelter in Norfolk.
“He came into the shelter needing our assistance with housing and other needs and we by the grace of God were able to help him with those needs and look where he is now," Corpus said.
Now, he his own place to live and he has a job as a bell ringer. Even though he gets paid to be here, he still volunteers for the Salvation Army. He even volunteered this Thanksgiving serving hot meals at the shelter.
“Glen! Hi, I’m Beverly from Channel 3. How’s business today? Picking up a little bit," said News 3's Beverly Kidd.
Even though he saw our camera, Glen still had no idea why we were really here at the Walmart in Virginia Beach.
“You are doing such an awesome job, and News 3 would like to give you a People Taking Action award. Congratulations!" said Kidd.
Fighting back tears, Glen shared how grateful he is to the Salvation Army, specifically the shelter director A.C., who pushed him to stick with the program.
“And sometimes, believe me, I wanted to give up," Glen said.
"We have heard all about you and apparently you are one of the special bell ringers and everyone likes to have you in front of their store," said Kidd. “So our partner Southern Bank would like to give you a $300 gift card! Thank you.”
Even though he makes just above minimum wage and has to stand for long hours at a time in all kinds of weather, Glen said he loves his job.
“I love it. If it was for a thousand days, I’d do it. Really? It's for the kids," he said.
What he's learned about people is that they are inherently kind.
“If it's cold, the older people come up and give me hot chocolate and it means a lot sometimes, because I might not have it and some people really care and I appreciate it," he said.