Despite disability, weather and bus ride, woman volunteers yearly with Salvation Army

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Every holiday season, despite her disability, the brutal weather conditions or the two hours it takes her to ride the bus to her volunteer destination, you will see Karen Joyce ringing the bell for The Salvation Army.

The Harper Woods woman doesn't let her disability stop her from helping others in need. She's been legally blind for 23 years, but says she's "not one to sit home doing nothing." 

Karen is helping to kick off The Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign this year. The 2018 goal is $8.2 million. 

"With the challenge not being able to work, my income is low, so I donate my time to the Salvation Army because I really can't put a dollar in," she adds.

"One of our sayings is, 'Need has no season,' so, the need continues to be there," said a Salvation Army member. "So, we will continue to help those that need housing, food, financial assistance, drug and alcohol treatment, and assistance to overcome those addictions."

Many volunteers are willing to donate their time, but there is always a need.

"Oh my god, if I can do this you can do this you can do this," Karen said. "It takes nothing. If you need to sit, you bring a chair. Some places will provide a chair. There are people in wheelchairs that ring the bell. If you dress for it, you're fine."

The majority of the red kettles will be out in full force starting Black Friday. Karen volunteers her time at the Walmart on Van Dyke in Warren and she says always looks forward to interacting with the community and hearing their stories.

"It's fun and you meet so many nice people and people, they come and tell you how they were helped by The Salvation Army so they want to give back," Karen said. "And it makes my heart warm. It makes me feel good and all I do is stand there and ring a bell." 

"It blesses our hearts to know the volunteers that we have are committed, and desire just to do what they can. Karen, we very much appreciate Karen and the time she gives. Really, there's no limitations to what you can do if your heart is in the right place to do for others and Karen is an example of that."

On December 1, FOX 2 personalities will be out and around metro Detroit, too, ringing the bell.

If you'd like more information on volunteering go to Or if you'd like more information to make a donation to the Salvation Army, visit