Bundled up in red outside of Sam’s Club in Arden Arcade, Carl Virgin (second from right) is a Salvation Army bell ringer. He bobs his head to jingle the six bells sewn atop his corkscrew mistletoe hat, enthusiastically luring donations from holiday shoppers. Virgin, 59, has spastic quadriplegia, a severe form of cerebral palsy. He communicates though head motions, eye movements and a large smile. His personal attendant gives out candy canes from his apron pocket to those who donate. It’s his favorite thing.
Gail Johnson says her brother loves giving to others. “If he has money in his pocket he’ll give it to someone.” He and his roommate, Eugogio Lizarraga (left) agreed to ring the bell after learning The Salvation Army needed volunteers. “They are both happy, outgoing guys,” Johnson says. “By doing this, they’re giving back – and they really like that.”