The latest numbers are being released for this year's kettle campaign. With one week left until it ends, the campaign is $30,000 short of its goal.
As head of the Salvation Army office in Meridian, Major Walter Strong says the need for help this year is greater than in years prior.
"There are more needs, but this campaign also helps our programs throughout the year," says Major Strong. "So, the need throughout the year is also increasing. What's left over after Christmas expenses we also use to fund our programs throughout the year."
Aside from assistance during the holidays, the agency also has a 25 bed shelter for men, provides utility and food assistance, plus an after school program for children.
Major Strong says the good news is it appears that the agency's needs for Christmas have been met. Much of this is thanks to the general public and workers like those at the coal plant site in Kemper County, who adopted scores of angels from the angel tree.
Because the Salvation Army is Christian based, bell ringers do not work on Sundays, and this leaves roughly six days until the campaign ends.
"It's been a little slow, but we've had a good last two weeks or week and a half. We had a great weekend. So hopefully, this will continue,' says Strong.
More bell ringers are still needed. To volunteer call the Salvation Army office in Meridian at (601) 483-6156.
The local Salvation Army's goal is to raise $125,000 this year. So far, $90,000 has been collected. Major Strong says roughly 85% of all money raised goes toward the agency's program, or directly to individuals who are in need.