We RAKED in the moolah for Salvation Army

Here, Boyd is giving me his, "You're the Salvation Army guy and you're here to pick up the bucket? Yeah, right!" look.

Boyd Summers and I had a good midday shift today ringing the bell for Salvation Army, representing the Columbia Rotary Club.

I can’t say I like the new kettles. They’re plastic, and no bigger than a bucket, and people have a terrible time jamming their money into the ill-designed slot. The old ones worked much better — the money practically fell in on its own.

Adding to the problem was that the money, from early in our shift, was all the way to the top (it was mostly there when we started). Fortunately, a guy from Salvation Army came and took the full one — which was heavier than you would expect — and left us an empty one.

I mean, we think he was a Salvation Army guy. He had an ID tag. After he left, I observed to Boyd that that would be a pretty good racket if he hadn’t been. Yep, said Boyd, and we kept on ringing the bell.

We had a high old time talking politics, reaching back to the first time I met Boyd, when he ran unsuccessfully against Jim Harrison.

We saw a lot of folks we knew, such as … wait second: Is being a bell-ringer like being a doctor or lawyer, with confidentiality privileges? Maybe so. And maybe certain people will give a little MORE next time I’m out there, so as to remain anonymous. Man, were those people hauling out the booze by the handtruck-load!

Of course, when our shift was over, Boyd and I both did a little shopping (I bought beer and wine; he went to the hard-stuff side). After you watch people come in and out for two hours (and we’re going, oh, yeah, that’s some good stuff — you ever try…?), you just have to get some for yourself.

This is me trying to look convincing as I say "Merry Christmas!" when it's above 70 degrees. I wouldn't give this guy money, but plenty of people did.

19 thoughts on “We RAKED in the moolah for Salvation Army

  1. `Kathryn Fenner

    There is supposed to be a back-up bucket at the service desk. Apparently, the old metal buckets were too much temptation for some of the recovering persons who are Salvation Army employees — too easy to break into. Not to worry, though. It’s hard to even get a dollar bill *into* the plastic buckets, much less extract one! One woman nearly lost her fake fingernail trying to stuff bills in last Friday night.

  2. MP Baldauf

    When I ring, I always find that the “well to do” won’t even look at you – will do anything to avoid eye contact – but the people who appear to have the least to give always give the most. Did y’all ring at a liquor store?

  3. Nick Nielsen

    The first bell-ringer I see each year gets my donation. The rest will hear “Already gave.”

    I’m in and out of stores all the time because of my work. I figure that if I dropped in a quarter for every different bell-ringer I saw, I’d need about four rolls…

  4. `Kathryn Fenner

    @ Mary Pat–I figure the well-to-do write checks–using the Goethe notion of treating people as if they were what they should be, and you help them become that way. It’s a lot more gracefully put in the German…

  5. Silence

    I’ll never give money to the Salvation Army ever again. Their board members, staff and supporters were real jerks (in my opinion) at the EW Cromartie “going away” meeting, when they were talking about moving their activities out to Colonial Drive. They’ll never get another cent from me as long as I live. I’ll give to other charities, so I’m not a total Scrooge, just not the S.A.

  6. Silence

    The Salvation Army announced that it was going to cease its operations on Elmwood, and move to set up shop on Colonial Drive. Part of their plan involved having a soup kitchen and some other homeless services at the new site. Of course many of their new neighbors weren’t enthusiastic about this and EW brokered a meeting between the S.A. and many of the aggrieved parties. I think Tameika was there, and maybe Belinda and Sam were there too. Tom Turnipseed, Steve Anastasion and Robert Fuller were there with some others on behalf of the S.A. At the time, they were pretty non-sympathetic. Anyways, I guess they eventually decided to provide their services elsewhere, and just to make the Colonial Drive property offices. The mighty power of EW forced their hand, I guess. The next day after the meeting, off he went.

  7. `Kathryn Fenner

    Well, E.W.’s mighty paw prints are all over a lot of the mess that is homeless services in Columbia–starting (well, as far back as I know, but…) starting with his blocking the recommendation of the blue ribbon panel to locate on Taylor Street, near property he owned. It’s not like he minds nuisances–heck, many of his tenants are nuisances, but…I sure hope he doesn’t come back.

    I’m willing to cut the SA some slack–it’s not like it’s easy to locate services much of anywhere! NIMBY is alive and well in Columbia!

  8. `Kathryn Fenner

    Actually, no. I have repeatedly suggested the former Woman’s Club, directly across the street from my house, and visible from most of the living spaces, as a site for a homeless center, to powerful people who could actually make it happen. For some reason, it has been ignored.

  9. Silence

    Speaking of NIMBY, it’d be nice to “spread it around a little” rather than having The Big Rock Candy Mountain over on Elmwood…

  10. Steven Davis

    I bet your neighbors loved that idea, let’s put a halfway house next door. I’d be interested in seeing what that does to property values in your neighborhood. Turning the Woman’s Club into a strip club would do less damage. If you want to pay less taxes move across the river.

  11. `Kathryn Fenner

    My neighbors actually have no issue with it. There already is a halfway house, Killingsworth, half a block from Belinda Gergel’s house, in the fancy part of the ‘hood. Down in the Bottoms, we are fairly welcoming.

    Most of the properties down my way are rentals, and sold for the income stream. We intend to live in our house for the foreseeable future, so I’m not too worried about property values, either.

    I actually also exhort Council to max out the tax millage, too. I have no interest in paying less tax. I want a better city, not a fatter wallet.


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