These days, I no longer carry cash, so any approach to that jaunty ringing bell typically finds me scrounging in my pocket book for change. If I have to give to the Salvation Army in change, I try and give over $1 to alleviate some of the guilt I feel at hearing the clink of such a small amount of money falling into the bucket.

Something I’ve noticed in my elongated time of searching through my pocket book, nobody else is giving. I’m not sure if it’s the economy or the currency change or maybe even the places I’m shopping, but many people pass me by and don’t even glance at that bucket.

So this post is just going to be a quick run-down of what the Salvation Army does, and what you are giving to when you put money in that bucket.

The original Salvation Army bucket was meant to symbolize  a kettle for food. The idea was that while people were out spending money on things such as gifts, we can at least make sure that others have basic necessities like food.

These days, The Salvation Army assists more than four-and-a-half million people during the holidays.  Volunteers distribute dinners, clothing, toys, and basic necessities to families in need, as well as shut-ins in hospitals and nursing homes. Additionally, SA shelters are open for sit-down dinners throughout the holidays.

“The Salvation Army endeavors to bring spiritual light and love to those it serves at Christmas so that the real meaning of the season is not forgotten.” –SA Website

So when you give your change to The Salvation Army, it’s kind of like giving to a food drive, Toys for Tots, and your local homeless shelter all at once, all for money that would have just ended up at the bottom of the washing machine, anyway.

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