EARLY — Juanita Hughes of Early believes a person is never too old to volunteer as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army.

    Hughes should know — she’s 91.

    She reported for duty Friday afternoon for a two-hour shift — her first — inside Heartland Mall. She’s ringing the bell indoors to stay out of the cold because of a health issue.

    This is her experience as a Salvation Army bell ringer, and she hopes she’ll get scheduled for more shifts.

    “I am 91, and it is a pleasure to help,” Hughes said. She said her son, Bill Powers, is an insurance adjuster and has told her many times how quick the Salvation Army shows up after a disaster.

    “Merry Christmas to you, honey, and thank you so much,” Hughes sang out as another woman approached and dropped money into the kettle.

    She said her decision to volunteer as a bell ringer came from “just an idea in my head. I always like to help if I can. I used to be a Pink Lady at the hospital.

    “I like to do things and help. I think that’s what life’s all about.”