Many years ago, my grandmother claims that she saw a person who was collecting Christmas donations for the Salvation Army, open the red bucket and place the contents directly in to their wallet.
Well, you might imagine the impact this had on my family!
Stealing donations which had been provided for the needy is as sinful as skimming money off the collection basket in church!
My grandmother's observation had a real impact on her daughter. Over the years, every single time we've walked together past a Salvation Army Christmastime donation stand, my mother will whisper, "Did you know that Nana saw someone open the red bucket and put the donations directly IN their wallet?!"
Now, I prefer to give the Salvation Army the benefit of the doubt and expect that this organization has very robust control measures in place to ensure that any donations which are provided by the public are in fact routed to a cause other than buying a six pack of beer and cigs for the guy ringing the bell. Based upon my expectation, the distrust of the Salvation Army's Christmas donation drive does not extend beyond two generations in my family. Because while my mother will clutch her purse a little tighter, I'll dig in to my pockets for whatever spare change I have available. And for the past few days, whenever we go to the grocery store, the great-grandchildren of Nana Coleman will dig in to their piggy banks for money that they can also donate.
It's a really good thing the Tooth Fairy paid off her IOU's to Carolyn last week or we'd be in trouble.