Standing and ringing the bell at a Salvation Army kettle is a lot of fun because of all the neat people you meet. But standing there for many hours also gives you time to reflect on things that happened at the kettle over the years.
I remember last year one of my volunteers, Kim, was ringing at one of the food stores and she shared the sweetest story. She told me about a little boy who was about 5 who came over to drop some money in the kettle.
He asked where the money went to and Kim told him that among many other things, it will help some children and their families to have a brighter Christmas.
As he reached into his pocket he told Kim he had just eaten at Cracker Barrel. He pulled out a tiny bottle of maple syrup and handed it to Kim. He asked her if she would give it to the captain so that some other kids could have some syrup on their pancakes. Kim gave me the bottle of syrup and I promised to make pancakes for dinner for the kids that came to program the next time I would see them.
And I did - and they had some of that maple syrup on their pancakes!
Another time I was ringing on a very cold day, but having a great day nonetheless.
Two ladies greeted me on the way into Walmart and gave me a pocket angel, which I thought was really sweet.
On their way out they came over to me, placed a new red scarf around my neck, a new red hat on my head and handed me a cup of hot chocolate. What a blessing!
Yes, Santa, there are still many beautiful people out there! Talk to you again soon.
Please help by giving generously to the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army Santa Fund.
You can help make this a brighter holiday season for local families by making a contribution in person to any branch of M&T Bank or by mail to M&T Bank at 405 River Ave.; at the Salvation Army, 457 Market St.; or the Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701.
The Santa Fund is a fundraiser organized by the Sun-Gazette and the Salvation Army to help local families in need.