Once Salvation Army Lassies,
Stood on corners in the snow,
They had kettles and rang bells,
And set people's hearts aglow.
I would see them every Christmas,
And, as a child, I recall
It meant Santa Claus was coming soon,
And I would be enthralled.
Their uniforms were navy blue,
With a bit of red for trim,
Big bonnets hid their faces,
With huge bows beneath their chins.
Sometimes Daddy gave me coins,
To drop into their kettles,
They'd say, "Thank you and God bless you, Miss,"
When my pennies hit the metal.
They gave me smiles that would not stop,
And I would grin from ear to ear,
I was proud I could put money in,
Then, when it was so dear.
Some day, I thought, when I grow up,
I want to be like them,
Wear a bonnet, ring a bell, and say,
"Thank you and God bless you, friend."
That was the height of my ambition,
Which I never did achieve,
But I learned, when I grew older,
They don't just ring bells on Christmas Eves.
When disaster rears its ugly head,
Who's usually first upon the scene,
With warming coffee, food, and hugs,
That's right - a Salvation Army team.
The Army marches round the world,
They feed the hungry, clothe the bare,
They tend to all in peace or war,
They see a need, and they are there.
Anywhere and everywhere,
At the very first alarm,
The Salvation Army's hand is out,
Like an extension of God's arm.
I marvel so at what they do,
Whether in our land or far abroad,
With honor and humility,
They serve the cause of God.
Today it is almost the same.
As when I was a child,
Just their uniforms have changed,
But the Lassies still wear smiles.
The Salvation Army's drums beat on.
And their kettles still appear,
On the corners in the snow,
At Christmas time each year.
Forever I'll remember,
And in my heart, I'll always see,
Those lassies in their bonnets,
Who once smiled down at me.
I hope and pray that kids today,
Will drop their coins in,
And feel the thrill that I once felt,
When the Army's Lassies grinned.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright November 2005 ~ 2008