This is the first year there have been bell-ringers and kettles at the Plum Street Mall in Media. I think it adds a fun, festive mood to State Street. Our friends from Hedgerow Theatre -- members of the cast of "A Christmas Carol" -- have been taking turns ringing the bells to gather donations for the Salvation Army.
I think it's a very worthwhile cause: The Salvation Army helps those in need, all year long, at no cost. People who are hungry, addicted, without shelter, out of work, can turn to the Salvation Army for help in turning their life around.
SA consistently shows up at the top of the lists of charities with very low administrative costs. Donations actually go to help the people in need. And I even like that the cash donations in the kettle are anonymous - people who contribute are not doing so to attract attention or to get special recognition, and they won't end up on yet another mailing list to get constantly bombarded with mail or email.
I learned a lot about The Salvation Army when I produced a video commemorating the 125th anniversary of the Chester Corps. The people who work there are truly dedicated to serving others and "Doing The Most Good".
You can see that video here: http://www.on-video.com/FTP_Directory/SalvArmy/SalvArmy-Edit01.wmv
And you can contribute to the Salvation Army at the red kettle in Plum Street Mall or wherever you hear a volunteer ringing that familiar bell . . .