World's greatest Salvation Army bell-ringer dies


Michael Gorr died this past weekend, which means he'll finally get to take that break. Youtube/KARE 11

Death was always the only thing that could stop Michael Gorr.

Not his illness, cerebral palsy, which had left Gorr wheelchair-bound throughout his life. Not fatigue: Last holiday season, Gorr volunteered 60 hours a week as a Salvation Army bell-ringer at the Mall of America, not missing a single shift.

Not thirst: Gorr's personal care assistant would bring and hold his water bottle, so Gorr could get a drink without needing a break. Certainly not validation; Gorr also refused to leave his post to receive at a Christmas party for volunteers. 

Gorr's finally getting a break. He died over the weekend, reports KARE 11, which told Gorr's story as part of Boyd Huppter's "10,000 Stories" series this past December. Gorr was 67.

Why go through all the trouble, when Gorr was clearly someone in need of help himself? As he once explained: "I like bell ringing because it helps little children to get Christmas presents. It helps parents who can’t afford to buy things for their kids."

Gorr's personal care assistant -- another saint in hiding, if you ask City Pages -- Leah Okongwa told the station, "It meant everything to [Gorr] to be a Salvation Army bell ringer and to have the privilege of helping others."

We've got nothing to add, except that you should only watch the below video if you are 100 percent comfortable ugly crying in the company of the people around you.

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