It is Christmas time. Santa ho-ho-hos from his throne at the mall. Carolers sing fa-la-la-la-la while they deck the halls. Chestnuts crackle on an open fire. Children sing songs of a reindeer with a famous shiny nose. These are the sounds of the season. All are synonymous with the Christmas spirit. There is another sound that should be mentioned. It is the sound of a bell ringing on the doorstep of your favorite retail location. A bell that raises funds for the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is the evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God and it strives to meet the need of humans without discrimination. In 1891, the Salvation Army used the first red kettle to collect change to support and feed the destitute and poverty-stricken of San Francisco during the holidays. Today, red kettles are located all over the world and more than 4 million people are assisted during the holidays in the United States alone. The contributions made by the general public allow the organization to provide year-round services like drug/alcohol and prisoner rehabilitation, disaster relief, and Christmas charity, just to name a few. Our family, just like you, has dropped a lot of change into the pot over the years. This year, however, was the first time that we invested our time to help the cause.
It was a chilly Thursday evening in front of the Hobby Lobby. Upon arrival, each of us put on the red apron, grabbed the shiny bell, and took our place next to the kettle. All four of us rang a bell as shoppers entered and exited the store. I believe that our station was probably the loudest station in town on that particular night. It was great to witness the generosity of our community first hand. Person after person dropped change and dollar bills into our kettle. Most did it with a smile and a “Merry Christmas”. We had a great time ringing together. On multiple occasions I danced around the kettle and in front of the door. This created laughter amongst shoppers and embarrassment for my girls. One women saw my dance from the parking lot and said she would donate if I did it again for her. Obviously, I busted the move to get the donation. I was there to support the cause.
The Salvation Army impacts lives in communities all over the world. The money donated by you and me help to fund the organization. A little bit of change can make a huge difference in the life of another. When you see that red kettle and you hear that bell, make a donation. They say that when a bell rings an angel gets its wings. I cannot say that I know this to be true. I do know, however, that when a bell rings someone is taken care of by the Salvation Army. Next Christmas, we want you to ensure that you do your part to fill the red kettle. We also want you to consider giving a few hours to ring the bell. Our family enjoyed helping the Salvation Army. Each of us is proud to say “I am a bell ringer”.