My Thanksgiving break started with bell-ringing for the Salvation Army with eight middle school kids at a local grocery store. When these Difference Makers planned it, some of them got really excited about the idea of taking their musical instruments along, so that they could play Christmas tunes, too! This scared me a little bit, since I had no idea how that would turn out. I decided to go with it, though, and felt better about it when the kids even set up a "rehearsal" session at school a couple of days before we went. Their band teacher was so thrilled with the idea that she stayed after school to help them figure out what they were going to do. I didn't hear them practice. I only knew that they were excited about it and were taking it seriously.
At the last minute, we got a new member (who happened to play the sleigh bells), so he joined our little "band," which also included three clarinets, one trombone, and a tuba. My heart was full, watching those kids bickering a little over what to play first and whatnot, and they finally settled in to a rhythm and played and played and played for almost two hours. Many people we know came to grocery shop and got the added bonus of a mini-concert; there were lots of smiles. If this video doesn't make you smile, you need resuscitation.
Our trombone player got restless now and then and went over to help ring bells. He was so cute; whenever anyone put money in the bucket, he chirped earnestly,
"You're really making a difference! Thank you!"
To be around such enthusiasm, such promise, such hope; it's such a privilege.