Friday Standing Ovation, Presented by Ovation Riding: Tinker, the Salvation Army’s Smallest Bell Ringer

Each Friday HN teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world. This week, that individual happens to be an equine.


Photo courtesy of Fran Kerrigan/Beautiful Critters Photography

Owned by Carol Takacs of Allenton, Wisconsin, 2.5-foot-tall Tinker Takacs has a way of tugging at the heartstrings of everyone who meets him. Which makes him perfect for his annual job as the Salvation Army’s smallest bell ringer.

“Tinker is one of our largest, if not the largest, bell ringers that brings in the most donations,” Milwaukee County Salvation Army Community Relations Director Faithe Colas told “He’s so adorable and he’s so cute and people can’t believe he’s actually there and actually picks up the bell and rings it.”


Photo courtesy of Fran Kerrigan/Beautiful Critters Photography

As if ringing the bell with his mouth wasn’t charming enough, he also bows to his donators and picks up a banner that says “Thank you Merry Christmas” after people drop change into his kettle.


Photo courtesy of Fran Kerrigan/Beautiful Critters Photography

According to the ABCNews story, Tinker earns 10 times more than the normal human Salvation Army volunteer.

“I am told that a normal bell ringer brings in about $250 a day,” owner Carol says. “Tinker brings in about $2,500 a day. A lot of people put $100 bills in, and I am so humbled by this. I’m having so much fun, my horse is having fun and everyone seeing us is having fun while we’re helping people. It’s amazing to me. I’m so happy.”


Photo courtesy of Fran Kerrigan/Beautiful Critters Photography

Tinker is 15 this year and he’s been ringing the bell for about six years now. His fundraising assistant is Ta-lu-la, a Papillon. Here’s a new video from their local news station WISN:

Can’t get enough Tinker? You can follow him on Facebook here. Learn more about the Salvation Army or make a donation by visiting its website here.

Many thanks to Fran Kerrigan of Beautiful Critters Photography for sharing her work with us. Go Tinker Takacs, and Go Riding!

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.


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