By Cameron McKirdy

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Cam was given a Nobel Christmas tree to pass on to a stranger

I am a bell ringer.  Salvation Army claims they are, “doing the most good.”  That may be true.  The donations collected stay in the community where they were raised.  This helps the less fortunate, so for example, senior citizens can get the prescription pills they need.  More hungry are feed too, and shelter may be provided for the homeless.

I volunteered for a seven hour bell ringing session.  It was a true experience, unlike anything I’ve ever done.  At first, I thought hearing the bell clamor would be torture, but I didn’t even use my headphones for music, or earplugs to drown out the noise.  I thought it would be rude, and maybe I’d miss something that someone said.  I received hundreds of bright season’s greetings from Wal-Mart shoppers.  People smiled, told me to stay warm, and mostly to have a Merry Christmas.  I also had guests ask me to look after their bikes while they shopped, keep an eye on where their friend parked the car, and magically recall the location of the person they came in with.  It was funny though, and I got to do some people watching.  Looking into people’s shopping carts is like glimpsing into their homes.  I felt like a Peeping Tom, but it passed the time.  Most people were there to buy massive amounts of toilet paper, cat litter, or cat toys.  I’m not one to judge, but it was wild to see all the people wearing Mossy Oak (or real tree) camouflage clothing.  It was like half the shoppers just got done duck hunting.  The other half wore pajamas, slippers, or hideous Christmas sweaters, like they were trying to be a joke.  God bless them.

Seriously though, being a bell ringer was one of the most spiritually rewarding opportunities I’ve ever taken.  My favorite moments were seeing all the children excited to give.  They took a minute or two to figure out how to make the dollars fit into the pot’s slot, but they were so happy, and most skipped away holding their parent’s hand.  My bell was fascinating too.  I let one girl ring it, the others stared at me like I was a dinosaur.  I won’t forget all the people that took a moment, and the change from their pocket, and trusted it would go to a person who needed it more.  I saw a few $20’s go in, but maybe a gold coin slipped in there.  I will be back in front of a store today.  Please help others this holiday season, and volunteer in your community in 2014.  Bring peace to Earth.

Learn more about bell ringing here.

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Comments
  1. jargontalk says:

    Cam, you inspire. Your account of your experiences as a bell ringer was truly heartwarming, yet the descriptions in your blog of some of the people who “wore pajamas, slippers, or hideous Christmas sweaters” made me laugh! Keep it up, keep ringing, and a splendid holiday season to you!

  2. Very nice! There are so many, out there that need help and it is rewarding to help them even if it is just a few dollars that you can give. During the Christmas Season I recommend seeking out a charity that can benefit from your gifts and give instead of always expecting to receiving gifts.

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