Tonight I was standing ringing the bells outside Walmart with my young cousin. The rain had been coming down hard the whole time, and even though we had an umbrella we still were wet and cold. A women came out and said something about us being there in the rain, she then asked but do you have to be here. I told her yes; after she left, I thought about this, and the answer is, No, we do not have to be there, the bell ringing is strictly volunteer.
But what if we decided to only ring the bells on nice days? Donations would be down, which means for some children Santa would not be able to leave gifts for them this year. It would mean that the 1,200 families the Williamsport Corps helps would not be having a traditional Christmas meal (some would not even be having a hot meal) . It would mean that the Salvation Army would not be able to help these needy families with other necessities.
So I did not have to stand in the pouring rain for almost three hours, and the young child that was with me wasn't forced to come with me. Although I appreciate everyone's concerns about us being out there in the rain "begging" for money, when we were through we got to go home to a warm house, change into dry clothes, have a nice cup of hot chocolate and eat a hot meal. The people we are helping might not have this opportunity.
Next time you see us in the rain or snow ringing the bells know that we are there of our own free will where we are "doing the most good."
As long as people are out and about shopping, and our health/life is not put at risk we will be there with our bells.
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom