It is the time of the year again where you'll find bell ringers for the Salvation Army standing in front of stores and businesses. But did you know that many of the bell ringers are not necessarily members of the Salvation Army but volunteers from other organizations and in fact, all walks of life?
For a several years now, the members of my Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Spring Hill, have participated in the annual bell ringing. Usually, we take two days and split them into several shifts that are covered by a team of Rotarians. After all, everything is more fun that way.
And it's a wonderful way to pay it forward!
The photo is from last year's bell ringing of a fellow Rotarian and myself. It was a nice warm day - typical for Florida at the end of November or beginning of December - and we both spent our two hour shift after work busily ringing bells, wishing people happy holidays or Merry Christmas regardless of whether they fed the kettle or not.
Not everyone can give and that is understood but it is heart warming that many do. Sometimes, people will apologize for not giving more but no amount is too small if given from the heart and every penny will add up!
Of course, everyone is thanked for their generosity. The best is always, when children come to put some change into the kettle. Some may be a little shy or timid, but they all are happy and proud when hear the coins drop and receive a big thank you with a smile.
By the way, it is amazing how many people you already know you will run into when you are standing around in place for a few hours!
Not only did we have a lot of fun doing this, we also collected quite a bit of money for a good cause. The Salvation Army is using the money from its kettle collections for Christmas programs in the community supporting many individuals and families in need.
There are many ways I try to pay it forward throughout the year. The bell ringing is one of them and definitely the one I enjoy. Aside from bell ringing myself, I also have made it a point to drop something into every kettle that I encounter every season. I know from own experience the effect it will have on the bell ringer!
If you have never done anything like this, I would encourage you to try. Yes, your are giving some of your time but it is a very rewarding experience that will put you in the holiday spirit!
This is an entry into the Pay it Forward Active Rain Challenge November 2017