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Every year I volunteer to spend two hours helping the Salvation Army by ringing the bell at one of their kettles. Our Masonic Lodge agrees to participate by furnishing volunteers to do this at a number of local stores for one day. Each time I am gratified to see parents teach their youngsters the joy of giving to this charity.

Last Saturday I watched a young couple place some coins in their daughter's hands to put into the kettle. She was about 4, I think, and so short that she had to stretch as far as she could reach in order to put the coin in the slot on top of the kettle. I saw her stand on her tip toes, grunting from the strain of the long reach, and the smile on her face was more beautiful than the sun in the sky. She had shown the world she was a big girl now. Surely Santa would appreciate that she had given something to someone else less fortunate. My day was made brighter by seeing this small act of compassion. I know that parents like this, and their children, give hope to humanity.

Christmas means different things to different people. What it meant to this little girl was to experience the joy there is in giving. What better way to celebrate this holiday?

Joe Thompson

Willmar

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