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 April 25, 2015
The final show for the Milwaukee Rep this season is a spectacular prequel to the story of Peter Pan, the boy who would never grown up. It's a show that will remind you of all the great bedtime stories you have ever heard.
Published April 24, 2015
The young Milwaukee Bucks have done well against the Chicago Bulls, but the game Saturday could be the last of the series. The team knows it needs fans to crank it up and will try to send the series back to Chicago for a game 5.
Published April 24, 2015
The Neil Simon play "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" is supposed to be a funny, semi-autobiographical tale set in the golden age of television. The play itself is funny but the current production at Theatre Unchained squeezes all the humor out of it.
Published April 23, 2015
The far right wing of the Republican Party is filled with wacko ideas. Here's the top 10 things that Republicans should be ashamed of, according to Dave Begel.
Published April 22, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks played great basketball for three quarters in game two of the playoffs. But in the fourth quarter they got away from what they do best and the result was a win for Chicago. Game three is Thursday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Published April 21, 2015
Numbers and statistics can be misleading in all sports. But the numbers for the Milwaukee Brewers this season are absolutely frightening. Nobody expected this kind of performance.
Published April 20, 2015
Derrick Rose was a force to be reckoned with but the Bucks need to get back to the kind of team that got them into the playoffs before the second game of the series tonight.
Published April 19, 2015
"The Pillowman" at Soulstice Theatre is a powerful play, full of gruesome tales of the abuse and murder of children. But behind all the shock is the enlightenment of how powerful and precious stories are to all of us.
Published April 18, 2015
The adaptation of the P. G. Wodehouse books about the stiff upper lip butler and his boss, Bertie Wooster, comes alive at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. It's a night filled with laughter and more laughter.
Published April 16, 2015
Nobody expected the Milwaukee Bucks to be in the playoffs this year, but they surprised the world by being the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The Bucks open the playoffs against the Chicago Bulls Saturday night.