Salvation Army volunteers set bell-ringing record

December 17, 2011 - 4:50 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Salvation Army volunteers around the nation have beaten the charitable organization's 36-hour record for continuous hand bell ringing without food or sleep.

And at least six of them, including a volunteer in San Francisco, were still ringing away next to their red kettles on Saturday morning — more than 12 hours after the record was broken.

The Salvation Army says the contest began on Thursday with 24 bell ringing volunteers. The goal was to raise awareness about the organization's iconic red kettle donation drive and encourage giving over the holidays.

Fifteen volunteers rang bells past 12 a.m. EST and into the early morning hours Saturday, beating the previous 36-hour record set in 2010 by a Salvation Army captain in Spokane, Wash.

Under the contest rules, volunteers must stand the whole time. They receive ten-minute breaks every four hours to use the bathroom.