Ann's Corner

A taste of FAITH, a touch of LAUGHTER.

Salvation Army Kettle Surprise

A Salvation Army Kettle Surprise

Dec 19, 2022

I like doing the Salvation Army Christmas Kettle shifts. It makes me happy to be doing something that involves people and helps other people. It’s a bit of a ministry. Smiling a friendly smile, saying Merry Christmas, or God bless, or even just a hello or a goodnight as they walk by. Sometimes we sing Christmas carols. I love the energy it gives me just to be doing a kettle shift.

Many will smile back or return a greeting as they go by. Sometimes people pass by preoccupied or stressed or even looking angry, but a cheery greeting is mostly welcome and often returned. It’s nice to see a face light up with a smile!

Sometimes people fish around in their pockets for coins to put in the kettle. Some parents give their children a coin or two to put in and we give them a little candy cane treat. Every little helps and the money is put to good use every year.

Sometimes people open their purse or wallet and put in a five, a ten, or even a 20 dollar bill. Sometimes they used the new tap feature, which is handy if you don’t carry cash any more. That works too!

Once in a while, a stranger stops to chat. Often, I see friends or acquaintances I’ve not run into for a while. That’s always a treat. A few words and a hug. Makes my day!

(Note: I got too many pics here and don’t know how to edit them out when they come in a group like this!!!)

Tonight, I was on a kettle shift at Walmart with my nephew. I took the first 45 mins and then went for a break. I needed to sit a while and sip a coffee. My nephew took my place standing, ringing the bell, and greeting passers. After my coffee break, I remembered I needed some vitamins, so I went shopping. Found what I needed and returned, placing my vitamins into my bag with my coat behind the kettle.

The security buzzers had been malfunctioning as usual, going off now and then for no reason, and the guards were being kept busy but mostly by false alarms. Occasionally, though, they do catch a true thief.

Tonight, something weird started happening. The alarms were going off randomly, on both sides of us, alternately and together. People coming in and out seemingly set it off and it began beeping loudly and frequently even when nobody was there!

Security guards came and checked around for fallen tags which apparently set off alarms. Nothing. One guard came and shook the security panels saying it might stop the glitch. It didn’t. He came back later and took the covers off the rails and replaced them.
Ah. Quiet? Nope. Not for long.

Beep beep beep beep, beep!Beep, beep beep, beep!
Beep beep beep!!!!!!
Beep beep!

It was getting ridiculous.
I had a thought about my purchases I had placed in my bag. What if it was that? Could it be that? I asked the guard….he said “Show me”

I got my bag out from behind us, between the two security panels. He looked at my vitamin bottles. One had a tag on it. It was the tag that was causing the alarm! Oh dear!!! After all that, it was my fault!

He said he would take the vitamins to the customer service counter where I could pick them up later with the receipt I had shown him.

Phew! Now it was quieter. Not completely, of course. Things still set off the alarm. It just wasn’t so often, thank goodness!!!

How embarrassing! Lesson learned. Wait to shop til kettle shift is over!!!!! Store any personal bags away from the security panels!

Fun and games at the kettle. Haha!

Another kettle shift……..

I want to share a favourite video clip of a couple of Salvation Army men having fun at the kettle but I can’t find it right now!

Here is just one of those fellows in a shorter clip (not very clear) in the meantime, until I find the right video!


If you’ve never done a kettle shift before, try it out next year!


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This entry was posted on December 31, 2022 by in Blog.


December 2022
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