Having had the experience of volunteering to ring the Salvation Army bell for several years now, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to making this one of my favorite holiday traditions. I encourage anyone who wants to feel the true Christmas spirit to sign up and ring the bell for at least one hour. Even on the coldest day, it will warm your heart to see parents or grandparents showing their children how to put precious coins into the pot. You may be amazed that so many senior citizens generously slip bills into the slot - without asking for the "senior discount"! You'll also reap the reward of knowing you've helped to collect money for a worthy cause, and you probably will see many of your friends and neighbors. It's an opportunity to wish them "Happy Holidays."
One message I would like to pass along to those who go to extreme measures to avoid the bell ringers: You can make eye contact and smile without making monetary contributions. It's understood that you might have given on the way in the door, at another location, or just can't afford it that day. Collecting contributions is our goal and is greatly appreciated, but also a smile and a warm hello is welcomed. Sometimes a bright smile is the only sunshine volunteers see on those cloudy days. If you haven't already, volunteer and start your own holiday tradition.