Next time you hear those bells, stop and put a few bucks in the pot to help those in need.
I was walking into a Cub Foods store, fighting the cold north wind and single-digit temperatures from my warm car to the door. A man next to a Salvation Army’s red kettle was ringing his bell and singing something about merry Christmas or happy holidays. I don’t quite remember because I was scurrying to get out of the cold. When I was done shopping, I passed the bell-ringer again. I took my glove off and reached in my pocket to pull out a $1 bill. As my freezing fingers pressed it in the kettle slot, the man said, “Bless you.” I turned and looked at his smiling face, frost clinging to his mustache and eyelids. I reached into my pocket and pulled out another bill and pressed it into the slot. “You’ve fed someone today,” the man said, and blessed me again. “No, bless you,” I said. “To me, it’s only money. You are the one standing in the cold. You are the one giving of himself to help others. Bless you!” He just smiled and rang the bell again.
I walked back to my Cadillac, hopped in and turned the heater on. The next time I go out, I’ll prepare myself. I’ll make sure to bring along something to give. I’ll never pass another red kettle without reaching in my pocket.
Jerry leppart, Eden Prairie
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.