Day 4: 10 Things I Learned Ringing A Salvation Army Bell At The Liquor Store

Cathy and Keely, bringing in the big bucks

My friend Keely Saye is just about the most generous person I know. She is always doing something interesting—usually to help a nonprofit or a friend in need—and she does it with a zest and an ease and a joy that is motivating.

A few weeks ago, Keely asked if anyone in the WECO would be willing to take a two-hour shift ringing a Salvation Army bell. What a lovely way to do something meaningful this holiday season, I thought. And ringing with Keely in front of Green’s Liquor store? Bonus. Bonus.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. There’s a lot of drinking going on in Columbia.
  2. Much of it is by people who are at least 80 years old.
  3. Ladies who shop at liquor stores who are at least 80 years old dress very, very well.
  4. Lest we healthy people complain, there is a great need for handicapped spaces in a parking lot.
  5. Those who need handicapped spaces are not the best parkers.
  6. The most generous givers are those who appear least able to give. Although I must say, people are very generous in general, and most smile warmly while they are giving.
  7. It is very nice to hear someone say (as they stuff their dollar(s) into the red pot) thank you for doing this. It makes you feel a part of something bigger.
  8. There is a chance, when you are ringing a Salvation Army bell in front of a liquor store, that a man will exit the store with a pint of liquor, tell you he is homeless, and ask you for money. He might go on to explain to you that he believes neither in Santa Claus nor Christ, but that he does believe in people doing things to help other people.
  9. When he walks away, you might hear another person, from whom he also asked for money, suggest that we all pray for him.
  10. Keely Saye makes everything more fun.
30 Days of Joy