Each Christmas season Daybreak Rotary along with the other two area Rotary Clubs helps in the bell-ringing for the Salvation Army. We hear grateful stories which we now share with you.


While the current bell-ringing raises the entire budget for the local Salvation Army effort and is appreciated by them, many people have stories from years and decades past where the Army helped them or a loved one. Heart strings are tugged. Additions to the stories below will be forth-coming. The quoted material is the person's story as recalled by the Rotarian ringing the bells.

  • Giver:  "My brother came back from WW2 and made it to the U.S. but we did not know where he was. The Red Cross would not help us, but the Salvation Army did. They looked for him for months."  Rotarian:  "Did they find him ok?"  Giver:  "No, but they tried. They tried hard."  -- as told by Gil Jones
  • I had a lady stop her car in front of the bell ringing , holding up traffic, and pulled her ash tray out full of change to give to Salvation Army. Kinda cool. Another stopped, wrote out a check and came running up to deposit. Fun to see. -- Dick Nicholson
  • My job tends to lead me to dealing with the tougher side of people; I had no idea what to expect.

    I’m a numbers guy and naturally had to see my score at the end. During my 2 hour ringing I made about $200; I’ll take $100/hour any day. This included 2 - $10’s, 13- $5’s and then a large pile of singles and change that I didn’t expect. Multiple people thanked me for even being there. A father stopped with his two young sons and described how the Salvation Army had saved his life when he was orphaned at a very young age, making their lives possible. It was truly amazing.

    Looking back at Christmas 2012, this was when I felt the spirit of giving and genuine human desire to help one another selflessly. Thank you for allowing me to be involved; it helped me quite a bit also to see the power of giving.

    This was something I had thought would drag down my day; it was the true bright spot instead.

    This was something I expected to add to my stress; it got my mind off of my problems completely and gave me a sense of accomplishment.

    This was something I expected to endure; it instead strengthened me.

    Those people gave me more than $200 for the Salvation Army.

    -- from Whit Holcomb
  • An older gentleman with the gait of a much younger man came up to me and, as he was making his donation to the kettle, he told me that the Salvation Army was the only organization that he gives money to.  He explained now that he was on social security he he had to watch his pennies.  However he could not pass up a Salvation Army kettle with out giving all the money he had in his pockets to help out.
    He said that the worst time in his life was as a young man in World War 2 where he served in the European Theatre.  While he was there, the only time that any one gave him anything was when the Salvation Army gave him hot coffee, a free doughnut, and a warm smile. Even today he hasn't forgotten the Salvation Army's outreach, and he continues to give back what he can.
    -- shared by Jim Warden
  • Hill Country folks sure are generous, and especially around Christmas.  We're not born knowing how to give, though, and it takes some patient training from those who love us to develop that compassion for others.  I saw this in action as I rang the bell this year.  A little boy about six proudly walked over to the kettle to deposit the money his mother had tucked into his hand.  She watched thoughtfully, and said "Son, what's in your wallet?"  He looked over in surprise and said "my money." She said, "put in the bucket."  With a shocked look, he stated "it's MY money!"  She directed him, "put it in - all of it."

    He did so, a LOT more slowly than he'd deposited the first donation, and with a rather troubled look on his face.  His mother smiled and said, "Son, your gift will be returned to you with so many blessings - many more than you gave."  I could see the doubt in his eyes, but I knew her lesson was heard and would prove true.  I felt a big lump in my throat, hearing that reminder, so well taught that afternoon in front of Wal-Mart.
    -- an experience by Barbara Warden
  • A WW2 vet walked over to the bucket & emptied every pocket, including his jacket. He explained that he never passed up a Salvation Army bucket because they were the only ones who cared & went all the way. I asked what he meant.

    He explained that he was in WW2 as a young man, fighting in France after the invasion. His unit had just taken a small village from the Germans, but the Germans retreated all around the village. They were "sort of" under siege surrounded by the German troops they just ousted. The Germans didn't attack, but just kept them in the town. They soon found out why, as food, water, shelter & clothing were scarce. All they could do was wait for reinforcements.

    The few locals remaining told them that red cross was nearby, but refused to come in, stating it was too dangerous & not a great enough need in the village.

    A few days later the salvation army showed up in town, with food, water & most of all, dry boots & socks for everyone. He never forgot. They never asked for "thanks" & refused even the smallest token of appreciation. He gives his "thank you" in every red bucket he sees, every year.
    -- Wow. What a story as related by Allan