My Christmas Story

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Kiwanis bell ringer in Denver touched by a boy’s generosity.

By H. Riggs Smith

I am sure any of us who rings a bell for the Salvation Army has a similar story. One that touches your heart and makes ringing so rewarding for all of us, even though we are often ignored.
As I was ringing on Christmas Eve, a little boy and his dad came up. The boy, about 8 or 9 years old, dropped a couple of dollar bills in the bucket. His dad told me that the money was part of his allowance.
I asked the boy if he knew what The Salvation Army was and where the money would go. He shook his head and said no. So I got down to his level and explained that the money we collected and turned over to the Salvation Army was used to help families who have nothing—families with no home, no food, and no toys for Christmas. He smiled, as his dad, did and they walked away. The dad said, “We will be back in a few minutes.”
A short time later, here they came again. This time the little boy had a rolled up wad of bills that he put in the bucket. As he did, he looked up at me and said he wanted to give the rest of the money he had saved to The Salvation Army—he wanted to give the rest of his savings to the needy this Christmas His dad dropped an envelope into the bucket with $100 cash in it.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I again dropped down and told the boy how much that would mean to so many kids. I told him that when he went to bed that night I wanted him to imagine a smiling little child that had food and a gift because of his generosity. I said thank you as he and his dad walked away. What pride his dad must have felt.
Who was the real benefactor here? I think I know.

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