Walking around the Friendly City this past month one was sure to notice, at one point or another, a kind face, sitting beside a red kettle, ringing some cheerful Santa bells.
If you haven’t, then you really don’t get out all that often.
To many an important part of North American Christmas Tradition, the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign is almost as much of a Christmas staple as Santa.
For as long as I can remember the kettles have been around collecting money for those who are less fortunate, hoping to give them the Christmas experience so many of us take for granted.
Although when I was little my perception of the kettles was a bit different, the over-all idea of how they worked is still the same. Put the money in the kettle and receive a candy.
From the moment I could hear those bells ringing through the mall, my seven-year-old self would want to race off and locate them immediately. I would bring every penny I could find just so I could put it in that kettle.
Now, although I still donate to the Salvation Army, I like to go one step further and donate my time.
The Christmas rush can get the best of us at times and it can feel like every free moment we have is snatched up before we have a chance to decide what we want to do with it, however, for the past three years I have been setting aside two hours each year to put on my smiley face and head on out to wherever the Salvation Army wants to send me.
My first year I was at the Town ‘N’ Country Mall, which was nice because I found the time flew by, I got to see a lot of people I may otherwise have not had the opportunity to see during the holidays and the people were incredibly generous.
Last year I worked at the Saskatchewan Liquor Store, which was kind of funny because I was very pregnant and it seemed that people felt almost obligated to give the pregnant lady their money. I think the generosity that day was above and beyond.
And last but not least, this past Saturday I took post at the Moose Jaw Wal-Mart and had the very special surprise of getting to work with not only a fellow volunteer but a friend.
I think getting to work with your friends is always a bonus. Not only did we have a ton of fun, I think those coming and going, shopping and waiting in line could also see how much fun we were having and in turn wanted to join in by donating to a wonderful cause.
Year after year my understanding of what the Salvation Army does for the Moose Jaw community, as well as the world community continues to grow and I am amazed by the kindness, generosity and community support offered by its staff and volunteers.