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Manitowoc man provides generation of serving for Salvation Army

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jul 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-17 10:52:20-04

MANITOWOC (NBC 26) — The Salvation Army has been in town for decades, but one of their volunteers has done such great work for so long, many people have started calling him Mr. Manitowoc.

Tom Drill has been volunteering for the Salvation Army for almost a generation.

"Yesterday a lady came with $200... one lady, $200," Drill said. "I think I hugged her. I hope I hugged her."

With his duties as a ringer, he spends his volunteering hours talking with as many people as possible.

"I don't expect a return, I get a return in the human satisfaction, but it may not be financial," said Drill.

One of those individuals he has touched is Manitowoc local Jason Prigge.

"He has inspired me in my life to give back to the community in everything that I do," Prigge said.

One winter, Jason, who is also an artist, decided to paint a picture of Tom ringing a Salvation Army Bell. The result was a bid that generated $1,000 for charity. In the years following, Jason has drawn even more photos of Tom and has brought in even more money. Tom spent last Christmas recovering from an injury, but now he's back out in the community.

"I'm in pretty good shape, pretty good shape," said Drill. "Maybe over the hill, but I'm still happy on this side of the hill."

Although he's Mr. Manitowoc, that's not how he describes himself.

"How about, useless except when needed," Drill says. "And now I am needed and that gives me a whole new world."