On Tuesday, a few of us were carolling and collecting at Morissons. We need to raise some funds for our kids and youth work so we struck a deal. Our local Morissons would let us collect for four days in December if we provided some Crimbo music while we were there.
We're not really a Sally Army with brass band players etc. so I contacted our headquarters and they kindly sent three officers with their instruments and one for me. Andrea and a friend played the flute when our lips couldn't function any longer!
I was a bit disappointed that I didn't see Lulu or Alan Hansen but I did meet two amazing people who have stayed in my mind all week:Person 1: While we made a good wee bit of money on Tuesday and many people were kind enough to stop and put some silver in our collecting box, lots of people passed us by with their big trolleys of goods.
During the last hour I noticed a little old woman come in by herself. She was hobbling slowly on a walking stick. You know the kind of woman. The one you see in your town that is usually on her own and seems to get forgotten about. Double-lensed glasses, wooly hat, not very fashionable. Seems quite poor and hard done by, but still smiles. Doesn't really fit into modern Britain. She probably has little plates in commemoration of royal family weddings and such.
You know the lady.
This particular one hobbled passed and I remember her really standing out from the crowd in my head. She looked so alone and I really felt for her. A few minutes later I saw her coming towards me. She didn't say a word to me but put a £20 note in my collecting box. Then she slowly walked away smiling as I said thank you to her. I watched her head into the cafe all by herself for a wee cup of tea.
Person 2: After three long hours of collecting and carolling, Andrea, Matt (our youth worker) and I decided it was time for one last carol. I was at the entrance collecting, Matt was by the display we made and Andrea started playing 'Away in a manger'. What happened next you just can't make up!
As Andrea played, a mum walked over with her young blind daughter and stopped in front of her. The little girl began to get really excited and started singing along to the carol at the top of her lungs 'bless all the dear children in thy tender care....' At the end of the carol she jumped up and down, clapped and cheered. Couldn't stop smiling.
Give me meeting those two people at Morissons over Lulu and Alan Hansen any day!