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.
5 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Dave Begel
Published May 27, 2016
There is something about live theater that provides room for the little things in life, things that don't come with trumpets but with little bells, things that don't move mountains but may move the soul.
Published May 26, 2016
Charlie Sykes has long been a star of conservative politics, having built a kind of cottage industry mixing radio, television, books and his own peculiar brand of journalism. He may now be part of "The Mainstream Media."
Published May 26, 2016
A kind of social media pandemonium got underway Wednesday when Viswa Subbaraman announced he was resigning as the artistic director at Skylight Music Theatre. The board will take its time, however, finding a replacement.
Published May 25, 2016
No matter how it gets spun, Milwaukee's performing arts community took a severe hit Wednesday when Viswa Subbaraman announced he was leaving his post as artistic director of the Skylight Music Theatre.
Published May 24, 2016
The Wisconsin theater season generally begins in early summer when The American Players Theatre opens in Spring Green, shortly after the previous Milwaukee season comes to an end in spring. The 2015-16 season is now over and it's time for Dave Begel's annual list of the best plays of the season.
Published May 21, 2016
Skylight's production of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" delivered a rollicking and laugh-filled first act. As for the second act? Unfortunately, that's where the Skylight's season finale ran out of gas.
Published May 20, 2016
There are rare moments in the life of an arts organization when something happens that is a stamp of its style and the core belief that makes it who it is. The Milwaukee Ballet unfurled a moment just like that Thursday night with "Alice (in wonderland)."
Published May 19, 2016
Demond Means, a skilled and accomplished educator, is a guy who deserves some sympathy for being caught between a rock and a hard place as he tries to move the rock. He faces tough opponents in reform efforts.
Published May 18, 2016
Somebody somewhere needs to sit me down in a corner and explain why the City of Milwaukee needs a new "People's flag" to replace the one we've had for over 60 years.
Published May 17, 2016
Septime Webre is about to step down after 17 years as artistic director of the prestigious Washington Ballet. Before then, however, he is in Milwaukee to direct his "Alice (in wonderland)" with the Milwaukee Ballet.