Every Christmas for the last several years I’ve thrown a few coins into the Salvation Army bucket down the street at the Piggly Wiggly.  But not this year.  Nope.  They’ve changed their bell ringer.  The guy standing outside the store ringing the bell is going to be different this season, so I’ve decided not to give.

Ludicrous, isn’t it?  Obviously no one would stop donating to the Salvation Army because Bernie replaced Barry at the bucket.


Then why do we hear these kind of complaints?

You’ve change programs!

You’ve changed the disc jockeys!

You cancelled Adventures in Odyssey!

You did this ONE thing that I don’t like…  So I’m not going to donate to your station anymore… ever… ever!

What they are basically saying is… you’ve changed the bell ringer.  And that bell ringer is the very small filter through which they perceive your station.

But that’s not you.

I know what the Salvation Army stands for.  I believe in their cause of helping those who can’t help themselves.  My understanding of the vision and purpose of their ministry is far more important to me than who stands outside Winn-Dixie ringing a bell.

TOMS shoes is an example of a company that succeeded more because of their story than their product.

“For every pair I sell, I’m going to give a pair of new shoes to a child in need… The giving component of TOMS makes our shoes more than a product.  They’re a part of a story, a mission, and a movement anyone can join.”  Blake Mycoskie, “Start Something that Matters”.

Needless to say, no one has ever stopped buying TOMS simply because they discontinued the plaid ones.

This Christmas season as you hear those complaints about your station’s bell ringer, consider that maybe your bigger story isn’t being told.