Bell-Ringing Blues?

December 20, 2013

It's Christmas time…you are stopping by the grocery store to pick up the two things you meant to get yesterday. You can’t have a Christmas party without a cheeseball so you HAD to go again.

For the second time this week you throw your scarf around your neck and hop out of your car and then... you hear it.

The bell ringing.

You quickly take inventory in your mind…do I have any spare change in my pocket? Nope.

What about my wallet or purse?

If not, you may be like I used to be and quickly try looking away to avoid eye contact as you walk by, or maybe try to find a different entrance since you don’t have anything to give. Oh come on, don’t act like you’ve never done that before…

Well, I admit, that used to be me.

I also have to admit that since I began volunteering as a Salvation Army bell ringer, I have a newfound understanding of their purpose.

The bell ringers aren’t there to put you on the naughty list if you walk by without putting some loose change in the kettle. Instead, they are braving the cold, December weather simply to create an opportunity for folks like you and I to be generous.

You see, I support the efforts of the Salvation Army…however, if I was never given the opportunity to give at the entrance of my local grocery store every Christmas season, I highly doubt I would ever drive to the nearest Salvation Army store to donate or write a check and mail it to them. Most people probably wouldn’t. Makes me wonder how much less weekly church offerings would be if they didn’t “pass the plate.” So often, we give because the opportunity to give is readily available.

So, from now on, each time you go hear those bells ringing this time of year (even if you don’t have anything to give) tell the volunteer thank you. Thank you for creating the opportunity for others to be generous.

Sometimes a little ringing reminder is all we need.

Photo: Evelyn and her son, Zeke, braved the cold and rang the Salvation Army bell this week.

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