I rang the bell for an hour – 4 to 5 p.m. – admittedly a high traffic time, but in that lone hour – 49 individuals dropped some type of monetary donation in the red bucket! Forty-nine! I was hoping that there would be 30, one every two minutes, but that number was blown away barely 30 minutes into my ringing.
The Parkway Kettle Campaign is organized by Jim Hennigan of James Hennigan Insurance, and there are still hour-long spots open so contact Jim to sign up and you'll have your heart warmed just like my heart was on a dreary, rainy night.
This was actually the second time I've rang the bell for the Parkway Kettle Campaign (I rang a year or two ago).
What amazed me was the generosity of Parkway residents while I stood outside ringing a bell. I never solicited anyone, they all just came up and dropped some change, a dollar, five dollars or more in the bucket. Some people hear the bell ringing and go into the wallets before they barely saw me ringing. I wished people happy holidays whether they donated or not.
I could almost picture the images in donators' heads about gifts being given to those less fortunate from their dollars.
And you might think that ringing a bell for an hour would make you go crazy, but I can honestly tell you that the hour went by really, really quickly – and I didn't have a bell ringing in my head after I left Roche Bros.
What I did take away was memories of a small child wanting to ring the bell; The boy couldn't have been older than three, and after donating some money given to him by his mother, he picked up an extra bell in a basket and started ringing it! He actually wanted to stay and ring the bell like I was doing, but I think dinnertime was beckoning.
There were other grade school children who donated money from out of their own pockets without asking their parents for money. That was extremely heartwarming because kids don't have a lot of money. I valued every dollar I got when I was young, and to see a kid donate his or her own money was incredible. And it didn't just happen once.
I also learned that having a canine sidekick could very well increase donations as evidenced by a resident leaving her sweet dog Angus outside with me. Angus stood with me for five minutes or so and donations skyrocketed. People wanted to know all about Angus on their way to dropping money into the bucket.
And while it was a cold night I was able to keep myself warm by ringing the bell (sometimes in sync with the stereo playing holiday songs) – but what really kept me warm was seeing all of you donate to the Parkway Kettle Campaign and Salvation Army.
Thank you for bringing the holiday spirit to me.
The Parkway Kettle Campaign runs from Nov. 19 to Dec. 24, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Contact Jim Hennigan at 617-901-9190 or 617-327-9200 or email him at email@example.com. The Parkway Kettle Campaign is looking for volunteers to fill hour-long shifts outside of Roche Bros.