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milkmania
12-09-2005, 10:30 AM
The story of Annie gave me a tear:(



Salvation Army Kettles Net Five Gold Coins

By BETSY TAYLOR
Associated Press Writer

December 9, 2005, 3:52 AM EST

ST. LOUIS -- Loose dollar bills and pocket change fuel the Salvation Army's fundraising drives, but every once in a while an unexpected donation arrives in one of those familiar red kettles.

In south-central Pennsylvania, the Salvation Army received five golden rings dropped into the kettles from Nov. 30 through Monday, bringing to mind the popular Christmas carol.

"I'm waiting for the four calling birds," Maj. Darren Mudge, the York-area coordinator for the Salvation Army, said Thursday.

Two donors called to confirm the gifts, one had dropped two rings into a kettle and the other three. The Army expects to sell the gold rings to a jeweler to help fund its charitable programs.

In the St. Louis suburb of Chesterfield, an anonymous donor continued his own tradition on Dec. 2, dropping a gold Liberty coin into a kettle, labeled with a piece of yellow tape reading "Annie."

"There's a gentleman who leaves gold coins in memory of his late wife, Annie," said Matt Gerke, a spokesman for the Salvation Army in St. Louis. "He called in one year to make sure we knew."

And in Broward County, Fla., someone dropped a small gold-and-diamond engagement ring into a kettle last year. The Salvation Army there, like the one in Pennsylvania, publicized the ring but not its details, just to make sure it hadn't accidentally fallen into the kettle.

When no one came forward, jeweler Reuben Ezekiel of Fountains Jewelers in Plantation, Fla., bought it from the Salvation Army, and gave it away again in a free raffle. It allowed a couple to get engaged when they won the ring from the jeweler around Valentine's Day.

"Hopefully, they lived happily ever after," said Sally Gress, the Army's director of development in Broward County.

The Salvation Army's kettle campaign began in 1891, when Capt. Joseph McGee in San Francisco wanted to provide a free Christmas dinner for the poor. The former sailor recalled that in Liverpool, England, he used to see a pot on a landing, where people tossed in charitable donations.

McGee received permission from the city to place a pot at the Oakland ferry landing, drawing donations from those traveling to and from the boats.

The tradition has spread around the world. The Salvation Army said contributions to the red kettles, so visible before the holidays, help the ministry as it assists the elderly, the poor, the ill and prison inmates.

In many parts of the country, a few donors drop gold or silver coins into the kettles, allowing the Salvation Army to exchange them for their value -- sometimes hundreds of dollars.

Salvation Army officials believe the tradition of giving ounce or half-ounce gold coins began in McHenry County, Ill., in 1982.

"It's a holiday tradition, but we don't know who started it," said Michael Braver, with the Army in the greater Chicago area.

The region has received more than 300 valuable coins, including two last year that were wrapped in $100 bills.

And while the Army appreciates every monetary donation, those who contribute more help to brighten the Christmas season.

"They don't want a receipt," Mudge said. "They don't want a tax break. They are just being incredibly generous."

RexDog1
12-13-2005, 10:14 AM
Dearest John, I went to the door today and the postman had delivered a Partridge in a Pear Tree. What a thoroughly delighted gift! I couldn't have been more surprised. With deepest love and affection, Cindy

Dearest John, Today the postman brought your very sweet gift. Just imagine- two Turtle Doves! I'm delighted at your very thoughtful gift. They are just adorable. You big silly, what next? All my love, Cindy

Dearest John, Aren't you the extravagant one! Now I really must protest. I don't deserve such generosity - 3 French Hens! They are just darling, but I must insist, you have been too kind. Love,Cindy

Dear John, Today the postman delivered 4 Calling Birds. Now really, they are beautiful, but don't you think enough is enough? You're being too romantic. Affectionately, Cindy

Dear John, What a surprise! Today the postman delivered 5 Golden Rings; 1 for every finger! You're just impossible, but I love it. Frankly, all those birds squawking were beginning to get on my nerves. All My love, Cindy

Dear John, When I opened the door there were actually 6 Geese a-laying on my front steps. So you're back to the birds again, eh? Those geese are huge! Where will I ever keep them? The neighbors are starting to complain, and I can't sleep through the racket. Please stop. Cordially, Cindy

John, What's with you and those ---ing birds? 7 Swans a-swimming? What kind of goddamn joke is this? There's bird crap all over the house and they never shut up. I can't get to sleep at night, and I'm a nervous wreck. It's not funny! Stop with those ---ing birds already. Sincerely, Cindy

Okay buster, I think I prefer the birds. What the hell am I to do with 8 maids-a-Milking? It's not enough, but they had to bring their goddamn cows! There's manure all over the lawn, and I can't move in my own house. What are you doing to me? Just lay off, smart-***! Cindy

Hey a$$hole: What are you? Some kind of sadist? Now there's 9 pipers piping, and Christ do they play. They haven't stopped chasing those 8 maids since they got here yesterday morning. The cows are getting upset and they're stepping all over those screeching birds. What am I to do? The neighbors have started a petition to have me evicted. You'll get yours... Cindy

You rotten di@k! Now there are 10 ladies dancing. I don't know why I call those sluts ladies. They've been at it all night, along with those frigging pipers! Now the cows can't sleep, and they've got diarrhea. My living room is a river of turds. The commissioner of buildings has subpoenaed me to give cause why the building shouldn't be condemned. I am going to ask to ask the police to intervene. One who means it. Venomously, Cindy

Listen ---head: What's with the 11 lords a-leaping all over those maids and ladies? Some of those broads will never walk again! Those pipers have run through the maids and are committing bestiality with the cows. All 23 of the birds are dead! They've been trampled to death in the orgy. I hope you're satisfied you rotten, vicious, swine. Your sworn enemy, Cindy

Dear Sir: This is to acknowledge your latest gift of 12 fiddlers fiddling, which you have seen fit to inflict on our client, Cindy. The destruction of course, was total. All correspondence should come to our attention. If you should attempt to reach Cindy at the Happy Valley Sanitarium, the attendants have instructions to shoot you on sight. With this letter, please find attached a warrant for your arrest. Sincerely, Badger, Bender, Cajole - Attorneys at Law

It Is Old, But I Like It