[Acapellics Anonymous, the quartet I sing in, volunteered to sing while tending the Salvation Army Christmas donation kettle at a local grocery store this afternoon, right beside the checkout counters on the way out. We sang for a couple of hours, giving me a chance to observe donors from the other side of the kettle.]
The tunes were mainly Christmas-y,
and a steady flow of people contributed
loose change, loonies, toonies, fives,
tens and even twenty-dollar bills.
Some even stopped to chat quite earnestly
with the seven-year-old daughter of our
Lead singer, who was sitting with the kettle,
handing out thank you cards. Having passed
this kettle and others many times, and having
contributed my fair share almost every time,
I started thinking about the people this collection
is for. I started thinking that maybe some
of them had passed us, although I wonder if
they could afford to shop at that store. I sensed
that some of the people who passed without
dropping coin wished they could: they were both
glad we were collecting and embarrassed.
I shared the glad but the other embarrassed me:
so much for so few; so many with so little.