I had the best day today! For years, I have been trying to connect with the Salvation Army so I could be a bell ringer. One year we were in a small town in Montana, you had to travel 60 miles to get signed up; the next year we were in California, another place with a lot of red tape. Today, we are in Moab, Utah – one phone call, and I was a bell ringer. My first shift was today, and how much fun it was. I want to get voted friendliest bell ringer, so I smiled big and spoke to everyone. Of course, they don’t actually elect a friendliest bell ringer, so my real purpose was to bring a little joy in to everyone’s day.
For two hours, I spoke to everyone going in and out of City Market. It’s the only decent grocery store in town, so everyone goes there. For 28 straight days, six hours a day, a bell ringer stands in front of the doors. Everyone in town has plenty of opportunities to donate, so it is awesome when they do on your shift. The collections in those bright red buckets stay 90% in your local community. They help so many locally, this is the biggest fundraiser of the year.
On top of meeting lots of strangers, I ran in to someone I have known for almost 20 years. Back when my son was about 12, I was sitting in one of many awards assemblies at the middle school, the man sitting next to me was soon to be Superintendent of Schools in my home town – and his son was one of my son’s best friends. The first words Scott spoke to me were, “I think we’ll probably spend a lot of time in these bleachers.” His prophecy was correct, we watched the boys earn awards for a zillion different things over the years until they graduated. Scott is now the Superintendent of Schools in this little town. I had no idea! It was great to talk to a familiar face.
I’ve got another shift coming up on Sunday, I am looking forward to that. Find your place, people, find a way to give back and enjoy the process, I know I got far more out of today than anyone giving, and probably more than those who will receive, too. I love my life!