So Salvation Army donations for 2018 are down, at least in Florida. In Manatee County, for example, donations are down $30,000 so far this year. The lower contributions mean that services cannot be provided to their fullest extent, and shelters may run out of available beds.
What’s driving this drop? I believe part of the problem is that most people I know do not carry cash anymore. Debit cards have eliminated the need for a trip to the ATM for purchases. I first observed this last year. I would look in my wallet to make a donation at one of the Salvation Army kettles only to find some loose change and a bit of lint. Now I recognize that all of that change does add up, but many people merely walked past exuding an “I don’t carry cash” attitude.
Fast forward to this year. My husband and I were walking toward our local market (you know Publix well if you are a fellow Floridian). I said to him, “I’ve got to get some cash,” as I spied the familiar red bucket and jovial bell ringer.
“When what to my wandering eye should appear…”, but a credit/debit card machine to accept my funds. It was simple enough; A single swipe resulted in a $3 donation. Works for me…Unfortunately, I just discovered that my swipe did not yield $3 for the Salvation Army. Those credit/debit machines have a fee attached, so that eats into the donation bottom line.
Another challenge facing the Salvation Army during this giving season is a decrease in volunteers to man the red kettles. Why? I have no idea, and I was unable to find an answer through my research. Maybe I need to step up and volunteer. It would be interesting to witness what drives people to reach in their wallet whether for cash or their debit card.
Keep a sharp eye for the rest of the month…You just may see me ringing the familiar bell. But whether you see me or not, please donate. Merry Christmas!
I recently embarked on a new career direction. I am still an educator, but I have moved to an online platform. One of the challenges I faced teaching in a traditional classroom was my low tolerance for the extreme noise level. Luckily, teaching online allows me to do what I love without having to hear the mind-numbing din. The poem below reflects upon that maddening period of my life working in a traditional brick and mortar school.
Pencil starts tapping:
Clear the throat;
Rub the nose.
Clear the throat;
Rub the nose.
Tap, tap, tap,
tap, tap, tap,
tap, tap, tap.
and louder still.
Up out of a seat,
a figure runs into a desk.
“Ouch!” Tim bellows.
“I need a band-aid,” he whimpers.
“Patty said a bad word!” Mary hollers.
“No, I didn’t,” Patty retorts.
“You both said a bad word,” Sarah interjects.
“Stupid’s not a bad word,” Joe clarifies.
Maddie bumps her head.
Johnathan skins his knee.
They beg for the clinic passes
to get ice to soothe a bump.
“You’d better stop running!”
“You’d better stop calling me names!”
“You’d better stop grabbing my arm!”
“You’d better stop looking at me!”
Inside my head, my mind screams,
Instead, I clap my hands in a rhythm to gain the focus of the students.
So what is the big deal about yawning? When did it become such a faux pas? I recognize that a loud yawn with outstretched arms might be somewhat unappealing in public, but there seems to be a lesser known social construct completely against an act that is perfectly natural.
Yawn: involuntarily opening one’s mouth wide and inhaling deeply due to tiredness or boredom. (Yup: I just “Googled” it!)
The key word here is “involuntarily”. Yes, if you know a yawn is imminent, you can stifle it somewhat. Perhaps you can attempt the closed mouth yawn or smile yawn, but that is not always possible.
I teach English online to students in China. As China is 12 hours ahead of my part of America, the instructors find ourselves teaching at some off hours. An occasional yawn is unavoidable. Recently, a colleague expressed concern as he was chastised in feedback for yawning during class.
When I worked in retail, I emitted a concealed yawn when I was on the sales floor. “Don’t yawn!” my boss stated with a curt attitude. What?
Babies yawn, and it is considered cute. When children yawn, it goes unnoticed. But yawn as an adult, and you’re suddenly being inappropriate. It’s natural. It happens. We do our best to conceal it, but even then our etiquette is called into question if that naturally occurring yawn is observed.
“Don’t yawn!” someone bellows.
Alright, I won’t yawn. By the way, I’ll do my best to avoid sneezing as well.