For years I thought I was too busy in December to volunteer as a Salvation Army Bell ringer. Our family runs a mailing and shipping business (Wrap-N-Pack) and December is sheer madness for us. I promised myself I'd volunteer as a bell ringer when Christmastime was less hectic.
Then a couple years ago I ran into Chic Miller of Bella Vista Farms outside of the Holiday market. She was there with one of her precious donkeys, ringing a bell to raise money for the Salvation Army. Chic runs an incredible operation - a rescue farm filled with animals who require her care and feeding 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If she can find two hours to volunteer, then anyone can. So we gave it a try, my kids and I. We ring the bell, we sing and we are humbled and amazed for the entire shift. People who look as though they have nothing at all to give will scrounge their pockets for change. Mamas teach their children about charity and encourage their little ones to drop money in the kettle. Everyone smiles.
It's a blessed two hours -- we spend it being utterly and completely grateful.
In Redding, call 530-222-2207 to schedule a shift.
Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah. Shalom. Peace.