12/08/2007

The never ending pursuit of the beautiful -- part 5


The 5th installment is a small deviation from the previous posts. Instead of a single person I would like to highlight a whole group of people who give of their time to help out people at the holidays. These people stand out in the cold to ring that familiar bell that beckons us to think of someone other than ourselves and our families at the holidays.

The Red Kettle campaign, first started in San Francisco in 1891, has traditionally been The Salvation Army’s most prominent fund-raiser. In 2004, the campaign raised over $100 million in communities nationwide, with the nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars all remaining in the towns where the money was deposited into the kettles. The funds raised help support many of the 37 million people in poverty who turn to the Army for food and toys at Christmas, utility and homeless assistance, senior and child care, drug abuse treatment and many other social service needs. The Red Kettle Christmas Campaign enables the Army to provide food, toys and clothing to over 6 million people during the Christmas season and helps more than 34 million Americans recovering from all kinds of personal disasters nationwide.

Many of the people standing outside ringing the bell only do it for a small amount of time but this simple gesture of kindenss is a reminder to all of us to care about people. They also show us that anyone has the potential and talent to be able to help out. For the simple and yet very effective work that these volunteers do I say they are beautiful.

8 comments:

Farmer John said...

I think of the Salvation Army and American Red Cross as America's great social "safety nets" from the days before it was morphed into a government financed hammock.

Yehudi01 said...

Another great post, Jason! My dad used to stand out in the bitter Iowa cold and ring the bell. I have tremendous respect for these people.

The Frank Family said...

FJ -- The government has a knack for taking the voluntary out of successful volunteer agencies.

Daniel -- I too have a great respect for these people and attempt to give whenever I walk by them. My wife had a year as a child when her and her two brothers and single mother received a Salvation Army Christmas. It is still one of her fondest Christmas memories. The work they do for children leaves an impression for life. Thank your dad for us when you speak with him.

nanc said...

i remember a few years ago when our children's "charity jar" where they put their "ten percent" from their allowance went into one of the red kettles in nickels, dimes, quarters and pennies - it took about twenty minutes to empty it into that tiny slot, but they couldn't have been more pleased as the people lined up behind us awaiting their turn.

something about kids showing up adults that will always push us the extra mile.

one of my sayings at grace is, "thank you Lord for allowing us the ability to give." there's really no greater gift and we're unable to contain our blessings afterward.

this is a very good post, one of my faves for this season, now.

Brooke said...

My kids always give whatever change they have to the Kettle Folks. It wouldn't be the same this time of year without them.

And I agree wholeheartedly with Farmer!

Elmer's Brother said...

When I was part of the Alaska Air tragedy off of S. California the Salvation Army brought food, counselors and comfort. They didn't expect anything in return and gave to all freely. They were the only ones I can recall who were there not only for the families but for those involved in the recovery.

rockync said...

I love your choices for the beautiful. Tolkien even invented whole languages for his characters; such a brilliant man! Bill Cosby has been a favorite of mine for many years and I'm glad you chose him. The Salvation Army is really an amazing group for all they do with so little acknowledgement. I'm glad you included them. They are one of the charities we support each year. I thoroughly enjoyed this series.

rockync said...

I love your choices for the beautiful. Tolkien even invented whole languages for his characters; such a brilliant man! Bill Cosby has been a favorite of mine for many years and I'm glad you chose him. The Salvation Army is really an amazing group for all they do with so little acknowledgement. I'm glad you included them. They are one of the charities we support each year. I thoroughly enjoyed this series.