Salvation Army bell ringers

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Italian1, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. B_Italian1

    B_Italian1 New Member

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    When you go to a place where there's a Salvation Army bell ringer do you put money in the kettle when you go into the place and when you leave?
    If you go to the same place a few times a week do you give each time?
    What if you go to two places in one day that have bell ringers, do you give at each place?

    If I'm going to give I usually do it when I'm leaving a store, for example. I don't give going in and going out, but I know some people who will because of guilt. If I go to the same store the next day and don't give I feel kind of guilty even though I just gave the day before. But sometimes I will give two days in a row. On occasion I have given more than once in one day at different locations--just not all the time.
     
  2. Calboner

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    I can't answer your questions, as I make my donations (though not to that particular organization) from my home, not out in public. What I think, every time I see those poor saps ringing their bells, is: how can they do that job, and how can anyone in good conscience employ people to ring a bell for hours at a time? Unless they wear ear plugs, they must permanently damage their hearing.
     
  3. B_Italian1

    B_Italian1 New Member

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    The bell is annoying. lol I also make donations to other charities, but there is no avoiding the bell ringers--they are everywhere. They used to be volunteers workers, but now they get $8 an hour or something close to that. They have locks on the kettles now. It appears many of the workers were walking off with some of those dollar bills.
     
  4. Calboner

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    I had guessed that the bell-ringers were hard-up people doing the job for pay. That's probably a pretty good wage for most of them—sad to say.
     
  5. lvlgdck

    lvlgdck New Member

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    They're mostly volunteers, the bell ringers. To answer your question, I always give when I leave, and I always give to every place that has one, because I know how brutal it is to stand there in the cold hoping people have charitable hearts and also because I know that they're donating their time to help a good cause. I just give pocket change, as I make larger donations via check or online.
     
  6. Northland

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    I often give; but, not always. If I am entering a store, I toss a dollar in on my way in. I am more inclined to toss the dollar in at the bell ringers standing in locations which I am not going to be shopping at. It has been a few years since I went by at the holiday season; but, there used to be a Salvation Army volunteer on the 7th Avenue side entrance of Penn Station. I always gave before proceeding down the stairs to catch my train out to the island; where, I was working at the time. There are also several Volunteers of America Santas who perform in a similar capacity to the S.A., and they too receive dollar tosses.

    At this time of year, I am also inclined to send an extra check to The Bowery Mission and Volunteers of America (among other places).
     
  7. HazelGod

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    The bellringers and their kettles are holdovers from the era when our society interacted in cash and coin. The idea was to get people to donate their loose change as they exited a store.

    Paper and metal have been almost entirely supplanted as "coin of the realm" by bits and bytes..or by the sort of paper where you fill in the blanks (fucking geriatrics and their goddamned checkbooks), making the SA bellringers more of a symbolic display than anything else.
     
  8. IntoxicatingToxin

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    I put money in as I leave the store. If there's more than one bell ringer, I only give to the one I'm closest too. Hell, they don't care which one I put the money into, as long as they're getting donations.
     
  9. DC_DEEP

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    I do not support the salvation army, and I don't feel a slight bit guilty about it. Salvation army is among several charities to which I will not ever contribute. Goodwill industries is another. I won't donate, and won't shop in either of their re-sale shops.
     
  10. HazelGod

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    Were you planning on sharing with us the circumstances that precipitated these edicts? Enquiring minds wanna know...:wink:
     
  11. agnslz

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    I've never once seen a Salvation Army bell ringer so I've never given money to them. However, if I ever did I would give the money on the way into the store, that way it doesn't look like I never did to people walking into the store at the same time as me.:biggrin:

    As I think DC_DEEP was getting at, I'm not entirely comfortable giving money to religious charities because of their anti-gay policies. Even though I know it most likely will help someone who has absolutely no prejudices against gays, I don't wish to contribute in anyway to said charity/ministry's teachings against homosexuality.

    There's this real whacked-out religious guy who runs the largest local shelter for homeless women and children. A few years back he refused a donation during Christmastime from a local gay and lesbian group that had raised the funds by putting on a drag show.

    It's things like that which usually will ease my conscience about not giving to religious charities. But then I think perhaps I should be a better person than them and give anyway just so I help someone in need no matter what.
     
  12. DC_DEEP

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    anslz, you got a big part of my reasoning. Their policies and their organizational structure are the biggest contributing factors.

    I seek out and support more direct, grassroots types of charities.

    When my Mom was still alive, she supported two charities through her church. One was Bethlehem House - a residential homeless shelter for families. It was an old, large house converted for the charity's use. Most of the clientele were young couples with a child or two. It didn't have any religious requirements, but it did have some strict rules: residency was limited to three months or less. The first month, both parents had to go through skills training. After that, they had to actively seek work. Childcare was provided. Every resident had to participate in the upkeep. My Mom's church was part of an ecumenical women's group that provided dinner every night... there were about 15 member churches, and they had a rotating schedule. I usually helped with delivery when it was Mom's group's turn. The genuine gratitude the residents expressed was well worth the effort, and this particular charity went by the old "give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life" philosophy. Overhead was low, and results were high.

    Her church was near one of the high schools. The other charity Mom supported was their daycare program. They provided daycare, free of charge, to the students who were unwed mothers - with the requirement that they attend the classes, and keep up their grades. Until her arthritis completely prevented her from doing so, Mom made a steady supply of baby quilts and gave them to the charity. The quilts were beautiful, handmade, and each one became one child's personal blanket to keep.

    There is one church in DC which collects clothing, sorts it by size, and packages it up and delivers it, free of charge, to a number of homeless shelters for distribution. Again, it's direct, no overhead, aid to those who need it.

    There are lots of ways to help people in need, without paying too many inflated salaries in the process, and without supporting discriminatory corporate policies.
     
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