Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Hot Chocolate can warm more than hands – it can warm a heart, too.
10 Things Salvation Army Bell Ringers Want You To Know
1. We aren’t judging whether you give…or not! I’ve always assumed some level of guilt if I didn’t put money in the kettle, that the ringers were judging me. This could not be farther than the truth! Bell ringers actually don’t care if you don’t give (keep reading!!). You don’t have to explain you’ve mailed a check in or that you gave last time, I promise.
2. We aren’t judging how much you give! Have a pocket full of change? Fantastic! Found a dime when you got out of your car? Drop it in! Got a wad of ones you’d like to unload? Bring it! It is not the size of your donation that matters, we’re thrilled with every person who’s willing to give regardless of amount.
3. We love eye contact and a friendly greeting. Speaking to Salvation Army volunteers is a gift in and of itself. We appreciate it. Especially for a lone volunteer, your kind words are good company. A simple “Merry Christmas” or “Thanks for what you’re doing” are perfect acknowledgment.
4. Making eye contact and speaking is not a contract to give. Speaking does not obligate you in any way to contribute. Please don’t not speak because you don’t wish to/aren’t able to put money in the kettle. Remember, no one is judging.
5. We like to hear your stories. Tell us about the time you volunteered. Let us know if you’ve ever benefited from the Salvation Army’s ministries. It reminds us why we’re lending our time to this worthy cause.
6. We notice when you avoid us. We’re staring straight at the parking lot for two hours; we know where you’re coming from and where you’re heading. Really, truly, you don’t have to cut a wiiiiide path to avoid us.
7. You give us great ideas. One man said he always carries a pocket full of change in every denomination–four quarters, five dimes a few nickels and pennies. “That way,” he explained, “You always have what you need when something requires change.” Simple brilliance.
8. Giving teaches your children. The sweetest contributions came from the little ones. Their eyes twinkled. They delighted in the giving. And, if you take advantage of this visual teaching opportunity, you can seed a spirit of generosity in your children that hopefully will last for life.
9. You, too, can volunteer! The Salvation Army would LOVE for you to volunteer! Check out your local operation and let them know your availability. Bell ringing is a fantastic family, friend, youth group or school club activity, but there are other ways to get involved throughout the year.
10. If the bell ringer happens to be a friend of yours and she tells you she has to use the bathroom, for goodness sakes, take the bell out of her hand and relieve her so she can GO! This happened to a friend (who contributed some ideas to this post) who ended up having to wait until her volunteer relief showed up before she could use the restroom.
The Salvation Army has been around for over 130 years and it helps people in a number of ways; last year alone it serviced over 30 million people. What you may not realize is most of your money stays local, to help people in your community; and I read that 82 cents of every dollar goes to direct assistance, not administrative costs.
Day 17: Today’s Challenge is to buy a large hot cocoa for a bell ringer.
Thanks for stopping by!
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
We're well on our way to making the season happy and bright not only for us, but for many others as well.
KITT52 had a humorous story regarding the trash can challenge from yesterday. She wrote, "We just moved in to this new house and 2 months ago we changed trash companies. I was told to leave the old barrel at the street and someone would come by and get it....so I did. In the morning it was gone, then I noticed it had been put back by the garage, so I took it out again. The next day it was back....DH got a call from the neighbor saying he was trying to be friendly and putting the trash can back for us.... When Gary told him the story he laughed so hard - but now we know we have wonderful neighbors.!
Today's challenge addresses one that is sometimes confusing for many of us.
Day16: Drop a dollar bill in the tip jar at any food service place.
The recent rise of tip jars at coffeehouses, sandwich shops, fast food, and ice-cream shops has changed the tipping etiquette landscape, leaving most of us confused.
Some people refuse to put money in to a tip jar believing that the tip jar is an inanimate equivalent of an outstretched hand. I do believe that putting money in a tip jar is completely voluntary. I am aware that the person serving me is most likely making minimum wage or less and their income is supplemented by tips. Therefore I usually leave a little something. I will usually be more generous if I receive good service, a smile, a cheerful demeanor, or I can tell they love their job. I always drop a dollar or more in the jar.
I do not feel it is obligatory - even if it’s only a small amount. I do not feel people should be rewarded unless they do a good job. But by the same token, during this time of year I know that everyone could use a little bit more jingle in their pocket, and so I make it a point to give a little more.
Thanks for stopping by!
Monday, December 16, 2013
Here's a little reminder for today:
The unexpected kindness,
From an unexpected place.
A hand outstretched in friendship,
A smile on someone’s face.
A word of understanding,
Spoken in an hour of trial.
Are unexpected miracles,
That make life more worthwhile.
~ Helen Steiner Rice
Here's today's challenge. Since I'm late in posting this challenge today, this can be done at your next available opportunity this week.
Day 15: Bring in your neighbor’s trash can when you get yours.
On trash day" in your neighborhood, save your neighbor the trouble of jogging down the street to retrieve their empty garbage cans and simply pick it up and bring it in for them?
It will only take a couple of extra minutes if you pick it up before or after you retrieve yours. Just move it out of harms way, up their driveway. Place next to their garage , sheltered from the wind if possible.
Also, pick up any stray trash that may have escaped the garbage truck and may now be littering the sidewalk or their yard.
Thanks for stopping by!
Sunday, December 15, 2013
Sometimes in the midst of all the Christmas and holiday bustle, you just need to sit down and take a deep breath. Sunday is a good day to do that. It’s a naturally together time before the new week takes off on Monday morning.
There have been so many holiday movies on, and there are many that are my favorites. I love a good family movie. When our son was growing up we started a tradition to watch a Christmas movie or special every night. It was sort of a family advent calendar for us.
Some of our family favorites include:
• A Christmas Story
• The Santa Clause Series
• White Christmas with Bing Crosby
• It’s A Wonderful Life
• Home Alone 1 & 2
• Christmas Vacation
• A Charlie Brown Christmas
• Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas (a Muppet classic)
• Disney’s Babes In Toyland
• Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
• Frosty the Snowman
• When Harry Met Sally
• Plane, Trains, and Automobiles
• Holiday Inn
• The Polar Express
• Muppet Christmas Carol
• Dr. Suess’ How the Grich Stole Christmas
• Miracle on 34th Street
• The Last Holiday
• The Ultimate Gift
• November Christmas
Our family also started a family tradition of watching “Scrooge” with Albert Finney every Christmas Eve. This is definitely one you should check out if you haven’t seen it. It is a lavish production done in England, and the visuals are stunning. You can find the DVD or Blu_Ray DVD on Amazon at a very reasonable price. It will most definitely remind you of the spirit of Christmas. Albert Finney won an award for his portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge from a young man through old age.
Day 14: Today’s challenge is to sit and watch a Holiday movie together with your family. So pop some popcorn, gather round, and have fun!
Which movies do you or your families watch every year, and what are your favorites?
Thanks for stopping by!
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Nearly a hundred years ago, aviator Amelia Earhart observed, "A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees."
I've been thinking of a challenge that wouldn’t cost any money for today. I have been posting challenges that have asked you to give monetarily, and wanted to give your pocketbooks and pants pockets a breather. I happened upon this idea purely by happenstance, but I do believe I was directed to this one for good reason. What a gold mine for paying it forward each day!
How often do you search for something during a 24 hour period? I’ll bet I do at least 50 per day. I found this challenge on a website, State of Kind. Goodsearch is a search engine powered by Yahoo that donates 50% of its' revenue (about a penny per search) to different charities listed on their site. When performing a search on the site, you have the option of selecting from a number of different charities with which to make a donation. You even have the option of adding your own charity, school or cause to the list of charities for a new way to earn money for them.
Day 13: So today your challenge is to use Goodsearch as much and as often as you can. I am going to be using Goodsearch as the tool for my never-ending quest for useless knowledge, finding images for our annual virtual Christmas card, and finding pictures for my blog. Here’s the link for you to add to your bookmarks:
I am going to bookmark this and try to change my habit of automatically going to Google for my searches. I think it’s a wonderful idea that not only can we pay it forward during this special time of year, but that we can do this each and every day throughout the year. It is going to be what I use for all of these searches and seeing as how I search for things about 100 times a day (not an exaggeration), a great amount of money could be raised this year.
And finally . . .
Here’s my first search on Goodsearch - a little something to put you into the holiday spirit and get you on your way today:
Don’t forget to share this with all of your family and friends, and of course Spark Friends, and lets begin our own “blizzard of giving” this weekend!
Thanks for stopping by, and may you receive at least one act of kindness today. Have a great day!
Get An Email Alert Each Time SHARON10002 Posts