WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington man is going the extra mile when it comes to helping those in need this holiday season by working with the Salvation Army to collect donations. But, he isn't your typical bell ringer.
David Alston is new to the area, but he's already striking a chord with the people. There are hundreds of Salvation Army kettles in the area, but his station has an added bonus. Alston sings loud and proud across the Harris Teeter parking lot.
If you were passing by his station, you would never know by Alston's jolly demeanor that he once hit rock bottom. He was addicted to drugs like crack cocaine, marijuana, and alcohol.
"I died three times - three times," exclaimed Alston. "But God said, 'you still have work to do.'"
Alston is homeless, but instead of trying to collect money for his own needs, he is manning the Salvation Army kettle trying to help other people. He says he can't just ring the bell, he has to let the gospel ring.
"I've tried singing other things. It doesn't work. It sounds awful," explained Alston. "I have to sing gospel. God has done so much for me. I have to do my part."
Alston's gift of singing is brining the holiday spirit to the area and inspires others to give gifts as well.