Bell ringers for the needy

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  • The letter writer as his volunteer post

As long as we can remember the red kettles and the tinkling bells of the Salvation Army have been as familiar to us as the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. It wouldn't seem like Christmas without them.

The Sparta Kiwanis, the mostly old but still spry Christmas elves, have been serving as surrogate bell-ringers locally since 1995. You can find them at Stop and Shop and ShopRite, tinkling away while reminding us that the red kettles are once again affording us the opportunity to help our neighbors during the Holiday Season. The Kiwanians, augmented by the Kiwanis Key Clubs of Sparta High Schools, have raised more than $ 450,000 since the inception of the bell-ringing program twenty years ago. But that's only part of the story. The part of the story most appreciated is the cooperation of our local supermarkets who make space available, and the incredible generosity of our residents who step up every year to help those less fortunate then they.

This year will be especially important. Everyone is aware of the good works of the Salvation Army, and this year they need our help more than ever. Internet shopping has resulted in a decrease of the number of stores at Malls so there are not as many red buckets appearing as before. And perhaps we have grown too busy to consider charities as we used to do. But the commitment of the Salvation Army to its programs remains unchanged as well as their need of support from us.

So now the Holiday Season is here and the Christmas Bells are ringing. Are you listenin' ?

The Sparta Kiwanis wishes all the best of the season, and invites all interested to come and join us for dinner at our weekly meetings held Thursdays at 7 P.M. at Homer's Restaurant on the Newton-Sparta Road. If you think you might consider giving the gift of yourself to your community this year you should contact Stuart at 973-459-0194

Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday Season. Bless us one and All!

John klumpp

Sparta Kiwanis

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