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A Bell Worth Ringing for the Holidays

There is something special about ringing a Salvation Army Bell during the holidays. As a volunteer Bell-Ringer, I am always inspired by the thoughtfulness of those that make their way to the kettle to deposit whatever they have to give. Whether it is a folded bill or a handful of change, the spirit of giving is apparent in her or his own way.

As I stood my turn with the “bell” at the Piggly Wiggly in Escatawpa again this year, I was thankful that the weather was beautiful, so unlike the bitter cold and windy days in years past. I was also thankful that I did take the time for this annual reminder of just how important this undertaking is for the givers, those that receive, and those of us who ring those bells.

The sweet older lady who made a point of going back to her car (park in the back of the lot) and bringing out a hand-full of coins was a special moment. And although she stood out a bit for me today, many others did the same. This has been the same experience each year that I and my fellow Moss Point Rotarians have witnessed – rain, wind or sunshine.

This giving, by folks that may well have so little, speaks volumes to the value that is placed on the work of the Salvation Army. As one lady said, “this is the only time I give each year” – to the kettle!  Special thanks to the many local businesses that host Bell-Ringers each year. Thanks also to the many volunteers and organizations that spend their time with the “Bell”. May the slight ache in your wrist after you are done be a heart-warming reminder of your effort – “Doing the Most Good”.

It’s not too late to help “Ring the Bell,” says,  Morgan Shiyou, Marketing Coordinator, simply go online to and choose your preferences. New this year, for those that don’t carry cash or change, is Kettle Pay. Simply use your phone to scan the kettle sign to use Apple or Google Pay. Also, you can ask Alexa on your smart device to donate to The Salvation Army.

Major Anita Caldwell, Area Commander says, Volunteers are the ones who truly make a difference in giving not only their time but their enthusiasm and love to those in need in our community, to help sustain life-changing programs The Salvation Army offers.


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.


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