In the distance, you can hear the familiar ring-a-ling coming from bell ringers manning The Salvation Army’s kettle stand. They encourage passers-by to give donations, to share joy and cheer with the often forgotten needy and underprivileged living amidst us.
This year, I had the opportunity to also play the role of a bell-ringer. I must admit it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. But I did find the time bell-ringing to be a meaningful and humbling experience. The thought of standing in the middle of the city, wearing a red apron, ringing a bell and beckoning others to come and donate is a challenge for an introvert like myself. However, I did find it helpful to remind myself, that at the end of the day, I was just playing a small part to raise funds for those in need. Speaking from the bottom of my heart, I realised that it is no longer about myself but about the people who will benefit from the funds raised.
Together with my volunteer partner, I stood at the corner of the street, with my bell in hand and the kettle pot beside me. In unison, both of us rang the bell and beckoned to all to contribute to the pot. And I decided that I might as well have fun doing it, so with a smile, we called out to all “Hello, would you like to donate” each time someone passed by the pot. No matter whether someone donated or not, I made it a point to wish them well and uttered “thank you” and “Merry Christmas”. I was also thankful to all who encouraged me during the few hours I was there, such as the gentleman who stopped to donate and affirmed us with words of encouragement; the lady jogger who stopped to contribute to the pot; the many parents who stood from afar but gave money to their children to donate to the pot; the many who gave approving smiles; the gentleman, who despite being engaged on the phone, took the effort to stop, dug out his wallet and donate; and of course, fellow-colleagues who dropped by to say “Hi!”.
No matter what we do, we can all, in our own way, play a part to share joy and cheer with the needy.
Much to the surprise of staff and patrons of the East Coast Seafood Centre, the troopers later stormed the seafood centre to savour some local delights, before embarking on their next intergalactic assignment.
Bulletin on 6 December 2006 © All Rights Reserved