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Kathy Martinson, Published December 03 2010

Grandchildren learn beautiful lesson while ringing the bells

In response to Richard Kodadek’s letter of Nov. 29:

I also went to my Hornbacher’s across from West Acres, two days before Thanksgiving. I went with three of my grandchildren to show by my actions what I teach them with my words. That is, we are to share with and give to those who do not have as much as we have.

We proudly put on the red apron. The children were so excited to ring the bell, which, by the way, had the “clapper” replaced with a little washer so as not to make too loud of a noise. They greeted dozens of Hornbacher’s shoppers, all of whom smiled, returned their “Happy Thanksgiving” greeting and gave change and bills of differing amounts. We received no negative comments, no looks of disdain, no questions of “why are you harassing me” or “why are you panhandling … go get a job.”

At the end of our 2½-hour shift, our red kettle was filled to the brim with gifts from grateful people. My grandchildren were so excited that there were so many people who would give to those who have less. I was grateful for the opportunity to live out what I teach. Grateful my grandchildren have an opportunity to help those in need. Grateful for Hornbacher’s welcoming the Salvation Army. Grateful for each person who, joyfully, placed their resources in the red kettle.

Monday (Nov. 29) I again went to a local Hornbacher’s, this time on 32nd Avenue South. I went with three more of my grandchildren. We proudly put on the red apron, and these children also were so excited to ring the bell.

Dozens of people returned our “Merry Christmas” greeting and thanked us for ringing the bell, to which we replied “it’s our pleasure.” No one considered us “beggars.”

Why do I support the work of the Salvation Army? They do good work. My parents’ garage burned down in the middle of a cold winter night several years ago, and the Salvation Army was there to give the firefighters hot coffee and provide a warm place, on site, to warm up.

During recent floods, I recall Salvation Army trailers around town, serving meals, hot coffee, providing help and relief where needed. I also remember the Salvation Army feeding thousands of people at the Fargodome, where we worked together to fill sandbags, helping those in our community who were in need and protecting our city.

The Salvation Army provides hot meals to those in need as well as a place for people to go on holidays where they are served a lovely meal and offered the companionship of others. To those who need their services, they are a welcome blessing. To those who do not, be thankful for all you have and remember: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Perhaps Hornbacher’s will not miss Kodadek’s business as he begins to purchase his groceries online. I for one (along with all my grandchildren and their families) will continue to support my local Hornbacher’s stores and every store that welcomes the Salvation Army. From what I hear, so will hundreds of others.

Oh, yes, today (Nov. 30) I will again be at Hornbacher’s with yet another three of my grandchildren. Thank you, Fargo-Moorhead, for not letting them down. Thank you for giving to the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign. They do so much good for all of us!