During the holiday season, it is a long-standing tradition for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) employees to participate in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.

BCBSNE employees volunteer year after year to support the community and to bring smiles to the faces of holiday shoppers.

This year, BCBSNE had 45 volunteers give 41 hours of their time in 16 different locations in Fremont, Papillion and Omaha.

Angel Champion, an Informational Services instructional designer at BCBSNE, recounts a story about an elderly couple who touched her heart this bell-ringing season.

“An elderly couple walked in very slowly, and the husband patiently waited for his wife while holding the door for her,” says Champion. “She was using a walker and was completely hunched over to the point that her chest was parallel with the ground. She looked very frail. What struck me was her beautiful warm smile and cheery ‘Merry Christmas’ greeting.”

Champion says she instantly felt connected to this couple.

“I asked sincerely, ‘How are you doing today?’ and she excitedly said she was here to do some Christmas shopping,” Champion says. “Her husband allowed her to pass through the second set of doors into Nebraska Furniture Mart, while staying behind to share that he, ‘yet again will be ‘waiting’ on her to get her shopping done,’ all while having a twinkle in his eyes and a smile.”

Champion connected with the man by saying, “I shared how blessed I feel to be married to a man who says how lucky he is to wait for his wife. We both chuckled.”

It is stories like these that keep BCBSNE employees volunteering with the Salvation Army for bell ringing during the holiday season.

For more stories like this, visit Community Engagement.