I came across the funniest thing while digging for Christmas decorations in my attic. This is a poem my (then) 11-year-old daughter wrote with a little help about six years ago. The Salvation Army does so much for the poorest people in our community and I dedicate this column to all their hard work leading up to Christmas:
Twas' the night before Christmas, no movement inside.
The bells had stopped ringing, the kettles filled high.
The vans were parked and covered with snow,
empty of toys, from tip-top to low.
The volunteers had ceased from their scatter and scurry,
to spend time with their families and eat lots of turkey.
The officers so weary, delirious and drained,
fell asleep on the sofa now that all was arranged.
Gathering wealth to give to the poor,
spending morning to night inside the old Corps.
From hanging the greens and putting up trees,
preparing good dinners and singing this Eve.
Everyone was welcome, no matter their place,
and become one family held together by grace.
The work, for now, has been completed,
until the next time the Red Shield is needed.
Heart to God and hand to man,
if anyone makes Christmas, the Salvation Army can.
Ian Eastman, M.A., is a community educator at Family Services of Warren County-a charitable agency that provides counseling, substance abuse services, and support groups.