Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Thing #348--Dinero Deposit

Nothing says "holidays" like the Salvation Army red kettle; the unofficial start of the season is the sound of the first bell ringing outside a store. I usually try to put something in the kettle a couple of times each season, but today I put a big bill in the Salvation Army kettle.

Or at least it was a big one to me; the largest I normally carry in my wallet. Nothing like the anonymous donor in this story, who dropped $50,000 (five cashier's checks for $10,000 each) into kettles in Joplin Missouri. Having collected money for various charitable organizations over the years, I know that by far the most common gift is a handful of change or a dollar bill. Anything higher than that is cause for celebration.

However, this Thing almost didn't happen. I started trying to find a kettle last week, but there were none to be found! Although I saw stands for kettles outside a half-dozen stores, there was no bell ringer collecting donations at any of them. It turned into a game. What store could I drive by that might take my money? Tony said he saw one in Columbia, but I wasn't with him.

This morning, Christmas Eve, was my last chance. I went to a grocery store early, but once again I just saw an empty red kettle stand outside the store's door. I came home to drop off the first load, and headed out in a different direction to buy more food for dinner tomorrow.

Once again, I was disappointed to see a red stand with no attendant. On a whim, I drove to a third shopping center. This time, I heard the bell ringing as soon as my car got close to the store! I parked in the (very full) parking lot, walked up to the receptacle, and slipped my bill into the very full kettle. The bell ringer gave me a friendly smile, a genuine thank you and a warm Merry Christmas.


  1. As bell ringer for the Salvation Army, thank you for your generosity. The Salvation Army does so much in the communities and no matter what size the contribution, it is money well spent.

  2. Hey, I just realized, you are really close to your big day. Any plans for that 50th?