Christmas campaigns: Early start for the local Salvation Army

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Christmas is still two months away, but leading up to it a local organization is getting a head-start with its mission to help. In fact, this year the Salvation Army office in Meridian has pushed up its Angel Tree Campaign Kickoff, and started accepting applications for it this week.

"Operation wise, it will be very helpful. We have to collect all of the information and put it in the system," says Major Young Kim.

Major Kim is the new head of the Meridian office. With about a 30%, or in other words $35,000, drop in Kettle Campaign donations last year, she says the agency is also considering starting that campaign earlier this year.

Major Kim says the agency is not going to let a down year for donations in 2016 put a damper on this year's Kettle Campaign. In fact, she says the group is currently examining the possibility of increasing this year's goal for that from $75,000 to $130,000.

"Well, everybody knows we were about 30% down last year. So, we want to catch up by starting a little early," says Kim.

She goes on to stress that funds raised from the campaign will be used to help the agency continue to serve the community, by providing Meridian's only homeless shelter for men, and daily meals for anyone in need.

"We have about 30 beds that we are serving every day for men," says Kim. "We are feeding breakfast and dinner for them, but every day for dinner we are serving the whole community. We are serving almost 100 every day. We definitely need community support."

Angel Tree applications for the Salvation Army will be accepted throughout this week. November 4th and 6th will serve as makeup days for those who miss this week's deadline. Major Kim projects that the agency will serve about 1,000 children during the holiday season.