Why do we ring? A volunteer couple’s reflections

By: Jeanne Zaugg

A couple years ago, my husband Larry and I found ourselves retired (mostly) from having served many of our 50 years as full-time missionaries to the “uttermost parts” of the world. The inevitable question arose, “Now what?”

Our hearts have always been burdened for the hungry, helpless, and/or homeless, struggling residents of South Carolina, “our Judea.” What better way to share the love of Christ than to reach out to them through the work of The Salvation Army whose programs meet not just the physical needs of people, but the spiritual as well—providing various services toward permanent change and renewal.

Comments that we “ringers” hear regularly from the givers, the “bucket blessers,” are what keep us going:

“I never pass a Salvation Army bucket without giving something; I was on the street once myself.”

“The Salvation Army helped me care for my kids when I was a single mom.”

“The Salvation Army rehab program got my grandson off drugs.”

“I entrust my money to The Salvation Army ’cause they don’t waste it on high salaries and advertising hype.”

“My dad served in WW2. He said that The Salvation Army was always there for him. Another organization charged the soldiers for services, but the Salvation Army never did. He told me if I was going to donate, it should be to The Salvation Army.”

The blessings of being a ringer?

  1. People who put their dollars or change in the bucket often say, “Lord bless you for what you’re doing.” We get “blessed” many times a day.
  2. We have shed our stereotypes of people who might give, or who might not, based on what they drive or what they are wearing. “Bucket blessers” seem to cover the whole gamut of our society: rich, poor, young or old, black or white, gray hair or pink hair.
  3. Ringing bells really does raise one’s serotonin level. I truly experience exhilaration when saying, “Merry Christmas,” “Lord bless you,” and “Thank you so much for your gift.”
  4. The face-lift! Yup! Smiling for hours on end actually tightens those sagging face lines. So in addition to the serotonin lift, I get a real face-lift. The Salvation Army really does “the most good.”

Why not become a ringer – the right kind of “ding-a-ling,” and make your moments, hours, and days count! And may the Lord bless you big time!

Jeanne and Larry Zaugg are volunteers at the Rock Hill, S.C., Corps.