This past Tuesday morning my son Cody and I participated in the Salvation Army’s kettle campaign. This campaign is designed around bringing care, shelter, and food to those who are less fortunate in our community. As volunteers, we stand outside in front of local businesses ringing the classic bell and wishing happy holidays to all; even in inclement weather, such as what we experienced Tuesday morning. We were standing in the wind and shade, outside, and the temperature was in the 20’s. It was so chilly, in fact, that a man in his 80’s walked by us singing the words of the song, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” — winking as he went by the bucket into the warmth of the King Soopers store . Still singing on his way out of the store, the elderly man contributed a few dollars before shooting me another wink and then heading off for the rest of his day. It was so cold that another caring man offered to buy us a coffee from the Starbucks located inside the store, and passersby, in response to our greeting of “Merry Christmas” replied, “Try to stay warm”. Despite the fact that we were really bundled and moving around to Christmas music that was playing from our portable speaker, we were frosty.
The chill was just on the outside, however, as once again our hearts were warmed by the generosity of people who stopped to drop money in the red bucket. Many folks dropped twenty dollar bills and our favorite thing was watching children delight in dropping money in the kettle. Even those children who didn’t make a deposit walked by us with smiles and waves, making our shift in the cold all the more worthwhile. And of course, those of you who stopped by to say hi and make a donation made our morning complete — thank you!
Just what does every dollar donated to the Salvation Army provide:
* Nightly shelter for 200 homeless men, women and children at a local center
* Keep over 100 men and women from freezing by offering shelter at the Winter Warming Shelter
* Feed over 75,000 warm meals each year and 6,000 holiday meals
* Provide gifts to over 2,000 children and teens this Christmas
Now that our hands and feet have thawed we are able to reminisce about our bell ringing morning, and once again decide that this great charity warrants a little discomfort on our part. Enduring a little cold weather for a few hours is a small price to pay to help feed and shelter men, women and children in our region who might otherwise go without this holiday season. I encourage everyone to support the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign this holiday — even spare change helps to save and transform lives. And from my family to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2017!
Wendy Schicktanz is a Certified Professional Photographer living in Colorado Springs. She is the owner of Captured Moments Photography which specializes in photographing high school seniors, families, children and boudoir. To view more of her award winning images visit her website at Captured Moments Gallery