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Valley firefighters ring bells for Salvation Army

PHOENIX — Valley firefighters invaded downtown Phoenix on Tuesday to help the Salvation Army raise money for the less fortunate this holiday season.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is that the average age of a homeless person here in Arizona is seven,” said Phoenix Fire Capt. Rich Bauer. “The overwhelming majority of homeless people are children, and that’s our focus right now during the holidays.”

The firefighters became Salvation Army bell ringers, standing on Washington Street for several hours and raising approximately $4,000 to help the Valley’s needy.

While Bauer said the donations were appreciated, there is more work to be done.

“To date, [donations to] the Salvation Army [are] down by 37 percent compared to last year, so we are trying to do what we can to bring those numbers back up,” said Bauer.