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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Give to The Salvation Army so they can give all year long.

It’s that time of year again. Most grocery stores and shopping malls are manned by a Salvation Army bell-ringer this month, collecting cash for people in need. If you do as Nickelback says and “donate every time you’re asked,” you will have given a sizeable amount by the time Christmas rolls around. Pace yourself!
I have volunteered my time as a Salvation Army bell-ringer for a number of years now. I do this for a few reasons. First, it reminds me of when I was growing up and really puts me in the Christmas spirit. Second, I love the smiles I get from people during my shift – even those who for whatever reason don’t put any coin in the kettle. How can you not feel good about getting a steady stream of smiles? Sometimes I see people I haven’t seen in years. Or meet someone I have only previously met in conversations online. And finally, I donate my time on the kettle shifts because I don’t have a lot of money to donate. I know the Salvation Army needs bell-ringers. Without them, they cannot do their Christmas fundraising.
If like me, you cannot afford to give a lot to the needy but would like to help your North Grenville neighbours who don’t have enough this Christmas, consider donating a few hours of your time. Call The Salvation Army office at 613-258-3583 and get yourself signed up. They will assign you a two-hour shift, at one of our local retail stations. You just need to look people in the eye, smile, and wish them a Merry Christmas and thank them if they choose to put something in the kettle. And if you have as much fun as I do, sign yourself up for another shift, and another. My first kettle shift at the LCBO this year brought in close to $600 in two hours. Think of that. Without a bell-ringer, the Salvation Army would not have that money to give back to the people in their community programs. They are short of volunteers and really need your help ringing the bells this year. You don’t have to commit to anything. Just do one two-hour shift and see how you like it. And I thank you, in advance. The money you will bring in during your shift goes directly back into the programs that help the needy in North Grenville, this Christmas and all year long. The Christmas Kettle campaign is the Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser of the year. This Christmas, they hope to bring in over $50,000.
The Salvation Army in Kemptville has a new team this year. Calvin and Erin Wong have the training and resources to help people in need, and they certainly have the heart. What they need is for people to sign up. If you or someone you know is in need this Christmas, please contact them. Last year close to 130 Christmas baskets were distributed through The Salvation Army in North Grenville. This year, just 40 families have signed up to receive this program. Yes, you need to fill out some paperwork and have an interview regarding your situation in order to qualify for this program. But that is just due diligence and an important part of being good stewards of the donations that have been entrusted to them by the community. If you need help this Christmas, contact them. They want to help you. Maybe you don’t regularly need help but this month in particular is going to be extremely difficult. Give them a call. They are here to help.
STAR 975, your community radio station, is partnering with The Salvation Army on Friday, December 6th, to assist in this year’s Christmas campaign. Please consider calling in at 613-258-0467 and donating what you can to help. I would like to challenge those in our community who have been blessed, who have more than enough. Please call in and donate what you can for this worthy cause. To our local business people. If you have had a good year, please share it with those in need. And if you have been helped by The Salvation Army in your life, please call and share your story with us, or come to the station and let us put you on the air. This is important, and we need to do what we can. Because need knows no season. Thank you, and Merry Christmas.

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