Wellesley residents take Salvation Army Red Kettle time seriously. Each year over 200 volunteers sign up for a shift and ring the bell in front of Roche Bros. in Linden Square. Their efforts help raise over $30,000 at that one kettle, funds that are used to help community members. Money raised is distributed to those in need by the Wellesley Council on Aging, Wellesley Department of Health, and Wellesley Friendly Aid. Holiday-time services include providing toys for needy children, food and clothing for families, and small practical gifts for shut-ins. The effort is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Wellesley
The Swellesley family and one member of the Elwy clan took our turn at the kettle as Chanukah was just getting started and Christmas was moving full steam ahead. It was an evening of high spirits for all as we were greeted by friends and neighbors who stopped by to help fill the kettle. One woman figured with five of us out there, we would likely break into carols if she waited around long enough. The Swellesleys are all pretty tone-deaf (I can’t speak for Ben), and assured her we were doing the world a big favor by keeping our songs in our hearts.
As I watched the steady stream of donations — everything from pennies to twenty dollar bills — make their into the slot, I was struck by the incredible generosity of the community. There’s still time for you to give to the kettle. The last shift ends at 6pm tonight as the final bell-ringer, Peter Monson, brings it home, and Roche Bros. closes its doors for the holiday. (The store is closed on Christmas Day and re-opens Thursday, Dec. 26, 7am.)
To everyone I saw out there ringing the bell — members from the Board of Selectmen, the Trails Committee, and Town Meeting; Municipal Light Plant employees, first responders, private citizens, students, and the many, many others who escaped my notice — happy holidays. To all those who benefit from donations, thank you for being an essential part of Wellesley and for your many contributions to the town.