There are lots of issues around holiday time but one of the biggest is developing your strategy for the Salvation Army kettles.
God bless 'em, those kettles are everywhere. And the Salvation Army does a fantastic job fulfilling its mission.
But those kettles can prove to be a real problem. I mean I've got a lot of Jewish blood in me and guilt comes pretty easy to my shoulders. Those kettles are guilt served on a silver platter.
There are a few different alternatives and you've got to have a strategy unless you plan to enter zero stores between now and New Year's.
One, you can drop whatever change you just got from your purchase in the kettle. That will earn you a "Merry Christmas" from the bell ringer.
Two, you can put a few bucks into one of the kettles and then you can tell every other bell ringer "I already contributed." My guess is that the bell ringers only believe about 20 percent of those claims. And who can blame them?
Third, you can write a check and send it to the Salvation Army. Then you can tell the ringers "I contributed with a check."
Fourth, you can brush by them and mumble something that sounds "Humbug" and keep on walking. No happy wishes and you better watch out for a wild reindeer attack.
My strategy is number one. Who needs change anyhow.
I wonder how other people handle this one.
Although it is no secret that the Salvation Army is a religious organization, they do not discriminate. The needy are in need regardless of race, religion or sexual preference. I was weary of volunteering my time with The Salvation Army because I am Jewish and do not know much of the Christian religion, but it has been a non-issue. Every interaction I've had with the other volunteers and Salvation Army personnel has been about positivity and giving back without expectations.
@Hardgeminiguy - I encourage you to give The Salvation Army a chance. Join me this spring at a volunteer event, there are many to choose from. I work bankers hours, so a majority of my volunteering happens on weekends or weekday evenings.
It's probably a bit much to call the Salvation Army anti-gay. They are a religious group and like most religious groups (in fact just about any mainstream religious group) they believe homosexuality is wrong. I don't agree with their position, but they are a group that does a ton of good and probably one of the better charities out there.
I don't think I've ever seen them taking any real active positions when it comes to issues like gay rights. Sure they aren't pro-gay, but I don't think they spend a whole lot of time on the issue of gay rights.
I am pretty sure you can get a 'Season Pass' button to wear on your coat to show bell ringers that you already donated. Personally I don't have much money to donate, so I donate my time by volunteering. Volunteering gives me the opportunity to see how the Salvation Army helps local families first hand. It's pretty amazing.
I am pretty sure you can get a "season pass" button to put on your coat to show bell ringers that you donated already. I do not have much money to donate, so I donate my time instead by volunteering. This way I see first hand how much they help the families in the area.
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