Salvation Army volunteer appreciative
As I tape the last package of red and green decorations there is one more thing I need to do before putting Christmas 2012 on the shelf: I want to thank my generous and kind neighbors of Blount County!
I was a first-time volunteer bell ringer for the Salvation Army, and I spent about 32 hours standing beside the familiar red kettle.
What a joy to see the kettle filled to the brim by shoppers. Often, it was very cold and someone would put their arm around me or reach for my hand and say, “Thank you for being here.” They couldn’t possibly know how much their encouragement meant giving me stamina to finish my shift before going home to a warm bed.
Warm beds are just one of the things many of our less fortunate neighbors don’t have but are addressed by Salvation Army. Food, gas cards, diapers and other basic essentials for survival are items the money from the kettles purchases.
Several times a shift, I would sing in my oh-so-not-ready-for-prime-time-voice my adapted version of a song from the opera, “La Donna È Mobile.” Responses of the shoppers are the best memory I have from the experience. Smiles, laughter (no, not at me: the song is supposed to be amusing), applause and return visits. Those were rich gifts I received and hold in my heart. I leave you with my words to the familiar aria:
Yes, it is Christmas time, Yes, it is giving time
Please don’t walk by the pot, Give, and, yes, give a lot.
People are needy, Please don’t be greedy,
Give what you can and You will be blessed.
You’ll be blessed, yes you will
GGGGGoooooddddd will blessssssss!
1572 Maury St.
Alcoa, TN 37701