Every year in the United States, the charity organization Salvation Army has volunteers standing outside of grocery stores and retailers with a red kettle ringing their bell for patrons to donate. Sometimes I give, sometimes I don’t. There never is any rhyme or reason to when I do or don’t.
Last year I saw a client of mine out volunteering so I stood with her for ten minutes as she rang her bell. I noticed a strange phenomenon. Most of the people who made eye contact seemed to donate. However the vast majority chose not to donate and in doing would look down or away as they walked past. It was as if by looking at the volunteer as they went by they might get some sort of disease. I got to thinking that I have probably been guilty of the same thing.
So this year, I made a pledge that no matter if I was planning to donate or not that I would acknowledge every single kettler (I don’t know what they are called so that works for me) and give them a cheery “hello” ….as I then walk on by.