Edenton Lions Club helps Salvation Army

Edenton Lions Club member Robert Beasley mans the Salvation Army Red Kettle in 2018. The Chowan County organization has helped the Salvation Army raise money for about 54 years — making it the longest serving volunteers of the campaign.

Dec. 7, 2019, was not only Pearl Harbor Day, but a beautiful Saturday for Edenton Lions helping the Salvation Army. Members of diverse faith communities also assisted.

The Edenton Lions Club has served as bell-ringers during the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign for about 54 years. It is the longest-serving volunteer group of the campaign.

I had just settled in when a striking tom boy (adult-type) with a flat top haircut neared my post. Snow on the roof. “Beautiful day,” I proclaimed.

In reply, she said, “Yes, much better than the 17 degrees in Pittsburgh, in November which I just left behind.” Proceeded to tell me that after losing her father and now her mother, she was free to relocate to warmer climates and coastal beauty. In particular, she liked Avon on the Outer Banks, but Edenton would do for the moment.

Into Rose’s store she went after promising to see me “on the way out.”

After a while, she exited solo and did as promised.

Fresh paper money in the red Salvation Army bucket. Thank you very much!

Earlier in the day I met two young sisters. Both happy but one jumping up and down with joy. “I spent my money ... I spent it all!” I never learned how much was spent. Or what was purchased. Perhaps it does not matter. She was so very happy!

When I first started my shift, I glanced in the red bucket and saw a surprise. Among all the paper monies was a fresh yellow lollipop in its wrapper. Unopened.

No one had slurped it! What to do?

Before I could get into deep thought, a fine lady returned after putting her groceries in her car. Poised senior. Silently with stealth she placed Mr. Lincoln in the neighborhood with Mr. Washington. Turned and headed home. Her modest quietness was most becoming.

An older lady had approached my station but veered off to my left to enjoy one of the three rocking chairs waiting to be adopted. Eyed people appreciatively.

Not doing snuff as far as I could tell. No smart phone either.

Meanwhile two adult sisters appeared. One had lived in Edenton for a few years while the older one was visiting from Georgia. The Georgia peach had not brought any pecans north with her to Edenton. Pity. Doesn’t hurt to ask.

Suddenly the lady in the rocker stood up. Silently headed my way.

Opened her purse, nary a mumblin’ word. Silently place three Washingtons in the bucket without disturbing my chat with the Georgia lass and her sister. Then found her ride home. Wondered what she had been thinking the past 20-30 minutes.

I’ll never know.

It is gratifying that strangers and former acquaintances shared part of their day with the Lions. That’s how leaven works. ...

Salvation Army solicitations in 2018 met with an exceptional response. In 2019, it was even better: Lion Bill Hicks said the Edenton Lions Club set at new record of $5,824 raised in four days for the Red Kettle Campaign.

Today is a day of blessing. To all we say, “Thank you!”

John Mitchener is past-president of the Edenton Lions, 2010-2011.