Great Salvation This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The Christmas season is only a few weeks away and the shopping centers are packed with busy people. The streets in our city are crowded, and you’re constantly pushed and shoved. As you try to make your way to your next stop, the sound of bells catches your attention. When you look for the source, there it is standing on the corner of the sidewalk. The person producing the noise is wearing a Santa hat and a red apron and stands next to a red bucket. The stranger represents an organization called the Salvation Army.

Thinking that the man is not important, you keep walking. However, as you cross the street, another stranger wearing the same outfit stands next to a similar bucket. You think, Who are these people?

The truth is we’ve all seen those who represent the Salvation Army outside stores during the holiday season. Every once in a while when we have spare change, we donate to their cause. However, have you ever thought about all the ways our money is put to good use? The money that we give helps poor people all over the world. And the Salvation Army is only one of many organizations that help the less fortunate.

Our pocket change does not go to just one person. In fact, it helps a variety of people of all ages in different countries - the homeless, the sick, the uneducated, the hungry, and the young. Half the world, almost three billion people, live on less than $2 a day according to globalissues.org. In 2005, 37 million people were in poverty according to secondharvest.org.

Most of us don’t realize how lucky we are. If we have a roof to live under, food to eat every day, and money to spend, we are some of the wealthiest people in the world. The sad thing is, we take these daily gifts for granted. We throw away things that are unfashionable when they could still be used for many years. In our society, wearing name-brand clothes is more common than helping those who are starving. Our culture stresses the importance of obtaining material goods. Meanwhile millions of people are only hoping for enough to eat.

So, make a difference. Give without expecting anything in return. Be thankful for what you have. When you have a bad day, don’t sweat it because there are bigger problems in the world. Together, we can help feed the hungry and shelter the homeless.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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