The weather was decent; not too cold, not windy and a little sunshine. My shift was from 11am to 1pm. There are two doors to this store and I was positioned at the least busy door. (The carts are at the other door.)
If you are a people watcher, as I am, this is an excellent opportunity for that activity.
I need to mention these observations are in no way scientific and they are not good or bad; just my thoughts.
First, we volunteers are asked to not have music playing and no food or drink is allowed. I could have used a cup of coffee and perhaps something other than a small bell with a nearly non-existent clapper to accompany my rendition of Jingle Bells.
1) men are much more inclined to drop money into the bucket than women (I'm sure there is some psychological reason for that, but I will keep my armchair psychiatrist opinion to myself)
2) children LOVE to put their change in the bucket and with a smile on their face
3) one (yes, one) person 'thanked' me for volunteering. I did not expect to be thanked at all, but it was nice to hear and I have decided I am going to thank the bell ringers I encounter from now on. Even though 2 hours seems like nothing, it does get tiresome standing in one spot and your smile nearly becomes frozen on your face LOL
4) many of the people who contribute seem the least likely to have any 'extra' money
5) people are pretty certain if they can avoid making eye contact with me, they are in the clear (I make it my mission to greet and say Merry Christmas to every person which nearly forces them to acknowledge me)
6) young people, ages 18-30, are almost 100% contributors
7) several people expressed their happiness that I said the words, "Merry Christmas" rather than any other greeting
8) some people are either so shy, so paranoid, feel guilty or are so reluctant to donate, they will go to extraordinary measures to avoid it; they headed toward the door where I was, saw the kettle, and purposely walked across the parking lot to enter the other door. The sad thing about that is: I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and smile at them, regardless of whether or not they drop any coins in the kettle
9) I did not keep count (impossible) but I would estimate 85% of the people I engaged in my 2 hours, put something in. I think that is a high percentage, so kudos to the people in my neighborhood
10) I enjoy interacting with people. If you do, also, volunteer next year. You are allowed to take a child or grandchildren with you. What a marvelous way to teach a lesson about giving, different types of people and about the families who will benefit from the contributions.
*for anyone who needs to know; I am not affiliated with the Salvation Army in any way.