GAIL DRAKE: The red kettle of compassion

That cheerful bell is one of the most familiar sounds of Christmas. What shopper hasn’t enjoyed the ringing, tinkling as they “rush home with their treasures?” Sometimes the bells are accompanied by singing and occasionally by trumpets, trombones and sometimes a tuba.

And so many community leaders and famous folks get into the act, cheerfully ringing and waving, “Merry Christmas!” Bells have been rung by comedian Bob Hope, Mr. Bean, and even Snoopy. Famous movie scenes of bell-ringers and bands include “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Grinch,” “A Christmas Story” and “Maid in Manhattan,” to name a few.

All graciously inviting us, the blessed, to give to those who suffer hunger by tossing coins into the ubiquitous “Red Kettle.” This year a 32-foot-tall red kettle structure lights…

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