They are at every shopping center.  In most every Mall.  It wouldn't be Christmastime without them.

The Salvation Army.

You would be surprised at how many people make a donation, but have no idea where the money goes.

The Salvation Army has been ringing that bell for more than 100 years and does so many things in every community,  it would take up too much space to list.  So, instead, I would like to introduce you to one of millions of faces having benefited from The Salvation Army.  Me.

When I was growing up, we lived a block from the New Brunswick Chapter of the Salvation Army.  I would say our family was average for the time.  My mom stayed home traditionally taking care of the 4 of us kids while my Dad, a retired Marine, worked hard construction every day.

The Salvation Army was a second home to our family as most every family that lived in our low income housing building.    We ate dinner there at least once  week, and went there after school most days.  One of my fondest memories of childhood was the Christmas party held every year for all of us Salvation Army kids.  Everyone got  a candy cane, lunch and a present...and Santa was there! Every little girl remembers her first Barbie.  That's where I got mine.

Whenever I pass the  red kettle and throw in a donation, I smile.  I love The Salvation Army.  They rock!

Oh, and one more thing.  I got my first kiss at The Salvation Army.  His name was Johnny Lambert.  I gave him my candy cane because his was broken.  He gave me a  sweet peck on the cheek.

Hmmmmm.....I wonder if that's why I love peppermint so much.....