Christina M. Currie: The sound of giving |

Christina M. Currie: The sound of giving

If every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings, the Salvation Army is truly doing heaven’s work.

There’s a payoff because those angels are clearly prodding people into giving to the Salvation Army.

There are times when I take for granted how giving this community is.

While interviewing a family that had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina, in tears because they lost everything they had, I continuously — and probably a little flippantly — told them, “You’ll be fine.”

I’m certain they not only thought I was heartless, but a little crazy, as well.

Two days later, the family was astonished when I handed them lists of furnishings and clothing that had been offered, as well as bags containing everything from sweaters to CDs. There were also grocery cards, gift certificates and cash.

And none of it surprised me. I was born in Craig, surrounded by the Western sense of independence that’s combined with an even higher call to support your neighbors. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that the community would respond to that family’s need.

Still, the generosity of this community continues to amaze me.

After reading about a stray cat adopted by the school district’s transportation department, a pipeline worker called the newspaper and offered to pay the entire cost of neutering.

After reading about a Dinosaur family with two special needs children, a resident offered to take care of those children while the family enjoyed a weekend away — paid for by the caller.

Doesn’t your heart just melt?

I spent a frosty Saturday afternoon outside City Market ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.

My decision to stay in Craig and raise my girls here was affirmed more times than I can count. Very few people walked by me without dropping a dollar — sometimes $5 — in the bucket. The bucket was made for change, so most times I got to chat with people as they folded bills to fit into the little slot.

Most heartening was the children who rushed up to drop in money. There’s no measuring the lesson parents are teaching when they give their children money to give to the Salvation Army.

Then again, maybe there is a way to measure it. To me, it looked like about a 78-cent value. That’s about how much a girl in her early teens fished out of her pocket after her mother had deposited $1.

I vowed there and then to always have change that my daughters could give to the Salvation Army. My children will be the ones who walk by a bell ringer and give change when times are good and a warm smile when they’re not.

Even as they’re ripping the wrapping paper off stacks of presents, I hope they’ll remember the loud bell, the red bucket and the warmth they felt truly embracing the spirit of giving.

In this community, they won’t be alone.

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