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Salvation Army in need of help for holiday season

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:02 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The holidays are here, and the Salvation Army is in desperate need of help with its seasonal charitable traditions. Dressed in red with bells in hand, the organization is back and ready to fill its red kettles with money for those in need.

“I choose to do this to benefit the community. It’s a good outreach and a good effort to reach out and serve the community this way. And if you’ve got the free time, come out. You might be able to say something that can turn somebody’s life around with that one word of encouragement,” said bell ringer and volunteer, Rickie Powe.

But the organization says finding people to ring the famous bell has not been easy this yea. Only 2 out of 19 locations in Meridian were filled Tuesday.

“We are having challenges even with paid bell ringers this year. And so, I think a lot of incentives that have come through the government have allowed people to stay home and be with their families. But this is a meaningful time whenever you come out and volunteer and ring at the kettle. You hear the stories about how the Salvation Army has helped them,” said Salvation Army Corps officer, Lt. Tamara Robb.

And the red kettle isn’t the only holiday initiative the organization has. The Angel Tree is a holiday staple that helps children less fortunate receive gifts under their Christmas tree each year. You may pick from children listed on cards that decorate the tree. The cards indicate a child’s wants and needs for the holiday season.

“Our community is one of the most giving communities around so it’s really rewarding to see people come in, take care of their bank business, come over to our tree and then they go and shop for that boy or girl. So, it’s really rewarding seeing that. But what’s fun is, around Christmas time in a few weeks, we’ll start to see our tree with gifts all over the floor here as we try to get those gifts to the Salvation Army,” said Neil henry, regional president of Citizens National Bank in Meridian.

The Salvation Army said the Angel Tree provides a bright spot for many families at Christmas time.

Bell ringers are needed through December 24th and gifts for children on the Angel Tree should be donated by December 10th. You can bring the gifts back to the location you picked up the Angel Tree card or to the Salvation Army.

Angel trees are located at Citizens National Bank locations, Uptown Meridian and Walmart.

To volunteer for a bell ringer position, call the Salvation Army at 601-483-6156 or pick up an application Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1704 24th Avenue.

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