How many times have you walked by the Salvation Army bell-ringer in your lifetime? Probably hundreds. How many times have you stopped to make a donation? Probably a fraction of those times if you are like most people. Have you ever stopped to speak to the bell-ringer? Well, I did and met Daniel.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Daniel moved to Colorado Springs for middle and high school before moving to DC. Now 17, he is a youth pastor here in our nation’s capital and is studying to get his associates degree in legal affairs at the University of the District of Colombia. If all this wasn’t enough to make him one heck of an interesting recipient, check out his voice. That’s definitely what caught my eye, err…ear I guess, when I walked by him on 12th Street.
He accepted my two five dollar bills and put them right into the bright red tub next to him. “Nobody’s gonna to steal my bucket,” Daniel told me in response to a news report that I shared with him about a bucket being stolen from a bell-ringer in Arlington, TX earlier in the week. “I’m a good Christian, but if somebody tries to steal my bucket I’m gonna get’em,” he tells me with a deafening smile.
“I’ve been doing this since the sixth grade,” he says while continuing the melodic ringing of the shiny silver bell. “I do it every day and people seem to really enjoy the singing.” I have to agree with Daniel. I saw probably a dozen people putting money into the kettle. “There’s been a lot of fives going in today,” Daniel said. “It’s gonna be a good day!” If you haven’t already heard Daniel’s singing and made a donation to the Salvation Army, he’ll be there until 11pm tomorrow night, so if you are in DC, head down to 12th and G Streets and say hello to Daniel and make a donation.