On Pearl Harbor Day, I had the serendipitous good fortune to chance upon eight delightful sixth-grade girls who were singing their hearts out with Christmas cheer, ringing a bell and encouraging passersby at Safeway in Gig Harbor to help the Salvation Army assist those in need at this time of year.
The kids were under the happy direction of Crystal Hampton. As a group, they radiated cheer.
Hampton said the girls are part of the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church’s Discipleship group.
“These are youngsters who are around the same age and in the same grade and are the same gender who get together and meet on a regular basis,” Hampton said. “We meet regularly every other week and decided it would be a fun and important part of our group to give back to our community. We decided the Salvation Army bell ringing would be a great way to do that.”
Hampton said they had a great time singing Christmas carols, despite the cold.
“The girls made it so much fun to be there,” she said. “We were so thankful for the generosity of those who donated and even had requests for certain Christmas carols. The Salvation Army is such a wonderful outreach to the community and so many in need, and our group will be looking forward to next year, when we can ring those bells once more.”
Lighthouse Christian student Iman Stephenson rang bells with the “D group.”
“When I help others, it always makes me feel good,” Stephenson said.
“I was there volunteering my time to help raise money for people less fortunate than us,” Kopachuck Middle School sixth-grader Grace Lindmark said. “It was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun spreading Christmas joy.”
Her classmate, Makayla Broxton, loved to help.
“This is my second time,” she said. “Last year, me and my dad and friends sang and rang the bell for Salvation Army, too. I want to help as many people as I can; this is a hard time of year for some people.”
Lighthouse Christian’s Leah Fraley also rang bells with the D group. Her classmate, Emma Anderson said they had fund raising money for the Salvation Army.
“There are tons of people just in Gig Harbor who are low on money or food, and it’s cool that we were able to help them,” Anderson said. “Maybe next year we can do it again and bless even more people.”
“The reason why I did Salvation Army was because I felt I was doing good for others who need more than us,” Tory Omlin said.
“We thought it would be a great idea to help out,” Jenna Markham added, “especially around Christmas time. We all got a little bored, so we decided to sing some Christmas songs. That sure helped out a lot.”
I’ve gotta tell ya, it made my day!Hugh McMillan is a longtime freelance writer for The Peninsula Gateway. He can be reached at 253-884-3319 or by email at hmcmnp1000@ centurytel.net.