1.  We aren’t judging whether you give…or not!  I’ve always assumed some level of guilt if I didn’t put money in the kettle, that the ringers were judging me.  This could not be farther than the truth!  Bell ringers actually don’t care if you don’t give (keep reading!!).  You don’t have to explain you’ve mailed a check in or that you gave last time, I promise.

2.  We aren’t judging how much you give!  Have a pocket full of change?  Fantastic!  Found a dime when you got out of your car?  Drop it in!  Got a wad of ones you’d like to unload?  Bring it!  It is not the size of your donation that matters, we’re thrilled with every person who’s willing to give regardless of amount.

3.  We love eye contact and a friendly greeting.  Speaking to Salvation Army volunteers is a gift in and of itself.  We appreciate it.  Especially for a lone volunteer, your kind words are good company.  A simple “Merry Christmas” or “Thanks for what you’re doing” are perfect acknowledgment.

4.  Making eye contact and speaking is not a contract to give.  Speaking does not obligate you in any way to contribute.  Please don’t not speak because you don’t wish to/aren’t able to put money in the kettle.  Remember, no one is judging.

5.  We like to hear your stories.  Tell us about the time you volunteered.  Let us know if you’ve ever benefited from the Salvation Army’s ministries.  It reminds us why we’re lending our time to this worthy cause.

6.  We notice when you avoid us.  We’re staring straight at the parking lot for two hours; we know where you’re coming from and where you’re heading.  Really, truly, you don’t have to cut a wiiiiide path to avoid us.

7.  You give us great ideas.  One man said he always carries a pocket full of change in every denomination–four quarters, five dimes a few nickles and pennies.  “That way,” he explained, “You always have what you need when something requires change.”  Simple brilliance.

8.  Giving teaches your children.  The sweetest contributions came from the little ones.  Their eyes twinkled.  They delighted in the giving.  And, if you take advantage of this visual teaching opportunity, you can seed a spirit of generosity in your children that hopefully will last for life.

9.  You, too, can volunteer!  The Salvation Army would LOVE for you to volunteer!  Check out your local operation and let them know your availability.  Bell ringing is a fantastic family, friend, youth group or school club activity, but there are other ways to get involved throughout the year.

10.  If you happen to hear us singing (a little off key) come join the fun!   It's is that special time of year to share and spread that Christmas Cheer!

The Salvation Army has been around for over 130 years and it helps people in a number of ways; last year alone it serviced over 30 million people.  Its mission is simple:  “…to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”  What you may not realize is most of your money stays local, to help people in your community; and I read that 82 cents of every dollar goes to direct assistance, not administrative costs.

So if you happen to be in the neighborhood come and and see us and our fellow Kiwanis Club  ringing the bell at Walmart on December 13th on Decatur and Charleston.