Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Bell ringers giving the gift of laziness?
Salvation Army red kettles signify the start of Christmas for me, perhaps even more than holiday lights.
I love dropping loose change and some bills into each kettle in my path, knowing I will help a family in my community have a nice holiday. I also enjoy the enthusiasm of bell ringers, the joy they seem to get from visiting with folks coming and going on their various Christmas errands.
Sadly, I have lost the spark for red kettles this year. Not because I don't want to give. Rather, I find myself dissatisfied with the bell ringers.
I know this is not their job, and many bell ringers are volunteers. But, on two occasions yesterday I merrily dug in my purse for money to drop in kettles in front of Macy's at Parkdale Mall and Market Basket in Port Neches. To my disappointment, both bell ringers were absent from their kettles.
At Macy's, a woman sat inside the store's entryway texting - both on my way in and out of the store. I understand bell ringers get breaks, but it was the lunch hour and a busy shopping day. Last night at Market Basket, the bell ringer sat 5 feet away from his kettle, quietly reading a newspaper. A friend told me he saw a bell ringer at Walgreen's this week lazily leaning on his kettle, content to not speak to anyone.
I will always give to the Salvation Army, but I am disenchanted with the process this year. If bell ringers can't be troubled to do their job, I bet a lot of potential donors will not be troubled to give this year. And that is just sad.