Helping People Through Our Christmas Donations
I can't remember when I first saw bell ringers during the Christmas season but I have always given a donation as I walked into or out of a store. I guess I said to myself, this is the season to give, so I would dig into my purse to help.
I Felt Compelled To Help....
Last year was the first year that I took the opportunity to actually ring the bell. I did it because my broker asked for our help. Andrew has been organizing this donation event for many, many, years. I got to watch his personal sacrifice to help others last year. This is a man who has a debilitating condition that is getting worse and you never ever hear him complain about anything. I have the utmost respect for him and I felt compelled to help him out.
Learned Much For Next Year
This year, I told my broker that I would like to help out even further by helping to organize the bell ringing and take it off of his shoulders for all the locations in Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. We have 4 locations, Bashes, Safeway, Walgreens and Weber's IGA market in the Village. I learned a lot this year. I signed up once, but left myself free to fill in if needed. At the time, not all the slots filled up, so I thought I would be pretty busy! We do this one week a year to raise money for those in need. Fortunately for me, all the slots filled up by last Sunday. I might add, this is a REALTOR thing. It shows the good people we have helping out our fellow neighbors.
Where Does The Money Go?
First of all, it is important to note that our operation in Sedona is 100% volunteer. Nobody gets paid and all the money collected stays directly in our hands for our distribution.
The Process ...Helping In An Emergency
After the bell ringing ended last year, I decided to help with the distribution of the dollars to those in need. For awhile, I was in a rotation with others who would take phone calls from people who live in Sedona or the Village who may need our assistance. Now I have the phone a lot more of the time to help others. I have 24 hours to get back to the party who called and make contact. At that point, I hear the issue from the person and figure out the best way to help them. We meet at my office and discuss the issues and help with some coaching. Sometimes we approve a gas card so they can get to work. Other times it may involve paying a utility bill or a grocery card. These situations are for emergency needs only. They are not for regular assistance. A log is kept so we can keep track of where the money is going and for what reason. Individuals are also noted on this log.
What Is In It For Me?
First of all, I don't do this for any reason other than helping people. It is the right thing to do. But there is an innate satisfaction when you help people who are in need. Some people may be desperate. Helping an individual or family through a tough situation is rewarding. I can see the desparation and stress lift from them. Many, have run out of options and this helps to restore hope to these people.
What is The Toughest Location To Fill?
This year I had a hard time filling the location at Walgreen's. Why? The front entrance faces north. There is no sun, so standing there, you can get cold. I decided to work this location. It has a smaller entrance and I got to see people I know. Everyone has to go right past you. It is amazing the support you get. The Christmas and holiday spirit was definitely with me!