The Salvation Army seeks support for holiday campaigns

Posted 11/22/16

With its Red Kettle and Angel Tree programs in full swing, The Salvation Army’s holiday campaigns continue to help those in need.

The Red Kettle drive is expected to generate $55,000 for the Cartersville Corps, while the nonprofit’s Angel …

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The Salvation Army seeks support for holiday campaigns

Posted

With its Red Kettle and Angel Tree programs in full swing, The Salvation Army’s holiday campaigns continue to help those in need.

The Red Kettle drive is expected to generate $55,000 for the Cartersville Corps, while the nonprofit’s Angel Tree program will assist more than 600 children — newborn to 12 — with gifts and clothing.

“Christmas is always a hectic time of year,” Salvation Army Capt. Scott Lyles said. “We, quite literally, begin preparations for our programs in July. That may seem like a lot of time to get things done but, especially as we get closer to the holidays, time always seems to run in short supply. I begin preparations for the Red Kettle fundraiser and my wife, Capt. Michelle, begins Angel Tree preparations. So for us, Christmas at The Salvation Army becomes a family affair.

“We’ll even have our 4-year-old daughter tagging along and helping us as she’s able. This helps make it an incredibly rewarding experience for all of us. We are also very purposeful about scheduling events and opportunities to create memories together that enrich the experience. We do this so that we remember, as a family, the reason we’re putting in all this extra effort into the holidays — to celebrate the birth of our God.”

Through Dec. 24, bell ringers will be accepting financial donations from the community at Red Kettle stations each Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

By Friday, the campaign will expand to include bell ringers at five Cartersville locations — Belk, Kroger, Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby and Big Lots. As the drive continues, bell ringers also will have a presence at three Ingles Markets in Acworth and Cartersville.

While many volunteers have already signed up to man the Red Kettle locations, The Salvation Army still is recruiting additional bell ringers.

“Bartow County last year was incredibly generous with their time,” Lyles said. “The amount of volunteer time that was given to both our Angel Tree and Red Kettle program surprised me. It was fantastic to see the community step up and support our efforts.

“That said, we are still looking for volunteers this year. All we ask is that volunteers usually commit to a two hour block of time that they’re willing to stand at a given site. They do not have to do this by themselves, in fact we encourage them to bring friends or family. If a volunteer is under the age of 16, we do ask they bring an adult with them for supervision.

“... We are needing to raise $55,000 in our 2016 Red Kettle drive. All of the funds stay here in Cartersville and help us serve the people of Bartow County, not only at Christmas but all year long. We do use the funds to purchase toys/clothing for any children that are not adopted in our Angel Tree program, but we also use the funds to assist with our various social service programs and activities that we conduct year long.”

Along with donors, The Salvation Army also is still seeking organizations and businesses that would like to feature the nonprofit’s “Angel” trees.

“The Angel Tree will assist over 200 families with Christmas gifts to over 600 children this year,” Salvation Army Capt. Michelle Lyles said. “The need has stayed the same as comparatively to last year. We did, however, have extra application days this year to make sure we didn’t miss anyone.

“We have many families who we see year to year that normally can’t make ends meet. This year about half of our families had some sort of emergency that has created a need for them. That may have been anything from a job loss, hospitalization or even a death in the family. We continue to see families in need, and we are doing the most good in Bartow County by trying to meet that need.”

As trees are installed, individuals can select a paper ornament containing a child’s first name, clothing size and suggested gifts. Anonymous donors need to deliver the contributions, unwrapped, by Dec. 9 to the tree location or The Salvation Army.

“Being a donor may cost a donor a few dollars, but it gives that donor a chance to directly bring the true miracle of Christmas to a child,” she said. “When selecting an angel to adopt, you can choose gender, age range and a variable of other things. For what we consider a perfect angel, we ask for at least a full outfit of clothing, shoes or a jacket, and at least two of their toy wishes fulfilled. I know that can seem like a lot of money but most of these children do not get any other new items during the year.

“... After doing this program over 10 years, the part that still breaks my heart is those kids who just want bedding for their bed instead of toys. I wish that I was able to help all of those precious babies, but that is why we rely on gracious donors who can step in to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we meet those human needs. We couldn’t do this work without all of the many organizations, churches, key people and community members who work tirelessly to give to others.”

For more information on the holiday campaigns, call 770-387-9955. Specific details about the Angel Tree program and Red Kettle campaign can be obtained by emailing Michelle_Lyles@uss.salvationarmy.org or tsaredkettlecoordinator@gmail.com, respectively.