As grocery store customers walk out of the Copps on Monona and Broadway, they're greeted by a bell-ringing veteran.
"Do what I can to help," 30-year "golden ringer" Ed Burke said.
Burke is decked out in Packers gear, sporting a pin on his green and gold cap, each dangling addition signifying 20 hours of service in a holiday season.
He brings his own brass bell, one he can hear clearly. Burke also has a basket of candy by his side. "Can't do any harm," Burke said.
Just before his shift, Larry Dobie wore his four-pointed Santa hat, teaching a new generation of bell ringers and collecting as many donations as possible. "You see ones, or fives and tens and occasionally a twenty," Dobie said.
Both Burke and Dobie have seen the signs of a suffering Salvation Army. This year, the group is down volunteers and donations compared to last year's early return.