Tuesday, December 18, 2012

My experience as a Salvation Army Bell Ringer.

Today I spent 2 hours ringing a bell for the Salvation Army Red Kettle street campaign. The Red Kettles Christmas program began in 1891 in San Francisco when Capt. Joseph McFee who was trying to raise funds for a charity Christmas dinner. He recalled a red kettle that he had seen in Liverpool, England.

This certainly is an easy task for one only has to take 2 hrs out of the busy Christmas season. Fortunately in a week where Southern Az. has had some cooler and rainier weather, I had a pleasant sunny afternoon. Standing outside of Walmart had its conflicting feelings. Especially since I have mixed feeling about Walmart particularly since this morning the New York Times had an article on the corruption of Walmart in Mexico as it tries to avoid local labor laws.  Watching flat screen TV's and all sorts of non essential Christmas gifts being wheeled past me and knowing the World's suffering, was confusing to say the least. But that is what Christmas is all about today.

But it was mainly a cheerful experience.
What I learned.
    - Kids like to put money, especially coins in the kettle. Particularly curious was a little red haired              
     boys who looked at the coins in his had and walked right by.
    - The Salvation Army is highly respected in the community. One War Vet talked about the SA
     providing coffee when he was near the front line.  Many people simply thanked me for being a bell      
    - a man that puts his hand over his back pocket wallet isn't necessary preparing to give.
    - if one person gives, it is more likely that others will.
    - Head down eyes on the side walk "if I don't see her maybe she won't see me".
    - "Hello, Merry Christmas" and walk by usually tells me that have given generously before.
    -someone you know doesn't mean a donation.
   - someone from my church didn't mean a donation.

Also: It is very difficult to play Christmas songs on a single Salvation Army bell.
"Frosty the Snowman" works the best.
"Alexander's Rag TIme Band" is doable.

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