Someone You Should Know: Jerry Gericke - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Someone You Should Know: Jerry Gericke

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By Diana Henry - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

WAUNAKEE (WKOW)-- A Waunakee man volunteers for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign. He certainly stands out from the crowd. It makes Jerry Gericke 'Someone You Should Know.'

"The Salvation Army is well worth the money to give," said Jerry Gericke. "I don't care if it's a penny, a dollar, a hundred dollars."

This is only Jerry Gericke's second year volunteering as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign.

"I snow blow driveways for people," said Jerry. "I enjoy what I do. Care for a cookie? Okay, have a nice Christmas."

That's what happened every time someone walked by as we talked.

"Cocoa chocolate chip," said Jerry." That's what everyone goes for. It's good I will admit."

Jerry hands out homemade cookies.

"My Christmas cookies aren't the best looking," said Jerry.

He goes through dozens in his 2 hour shift.

"Three months ago I asked my wife to teach me how to bake," said Jerry.

"Now, she can't get me away from the stove," said Jerry.

This 70-year-old is one dedicated volunteer.

"If someone don't show up I will ring bell for them because I love my job," said Jerry.

Jerry's considered a Golden Bell Ringer. He will have rung about 100 hours for the Salvation Army during this year's Red Kettle Campaign.

"A 5 year old I think put a penny in there," said Jerry. "It makes your heart pound that you are doing something for it."

Jerry does it because he knows what it's like to not have a lot.

"My mother used to make clothes for us and the clothes weren't the best," said Jerry. "But we wore them to school and high school kids laughed at us and we used to ride bicycles with no seats."

He hopes others will volunteer and donate.

"Something like this helps feed the people who can't feed themselves," said Jerry.

Jerry was diagnosed with esophageal cancer 2 years ago. He's been in remission for about 6 months.

Click here to sign up as a bell ringer.

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