Archive for Thursday, November 17, 2005

Time for help

November 17, 2005

The Salvation Army bell-ringing in Lansing will start Friday, Nov. 18.

As a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, I know firsthand the importance of bell-ringing.

Our Lansing Kiwanis will be ringing the bells and collecting from Nov. 18 through Nov. 26 at Petro Deli, 601 S. Main St., thanks to the generosity of Cindy and Rick Jaccard. We hope that you stop by and help.

In 1891, a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco resolved to provide a free Christmas dinner to the area's poor. But how would he pay for the food? From his days as a sailor in Liverpool, England, the captain remembered a large pot, displayed on the Stage Landing, called "Simpson's Pot" where passersby would toss charitable donations. The captain presented his idea to the city authorities and received permission to place a similar pot at the Oakland Ferry Landing at the foot of San Francisco's Market Street. The pot drew the attention of people going to and from the ferryboats. Another urn, in the ferryboat waiting room, also attracted donations. From those humble beginnings, a tradition was launched that spread throughout the United States and around the world.

The Salvation Army has been helping people in Leavenworth County since 1896 with food, clothing, rent, utilities, furniture and, occasionally, medicine. Six times a year, in partnership with the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, the Salvation Army also distributes commodities. In addition, they operate a day care for children ages from 2 1/2 to 12, a Youth Night for at-risk children, a senior citizens' group and church services every Sunday.

I remember the bell-ringing, the music and the colorful uniforms of the Salvation Army Band on Delaware Street when I was a child in the 1930s. It interested me to learn that they did this to help the needy. To help other people is one of the best feelings a person can have.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

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