Salvation Army logo

The holidays are almost here. That means the Salvation Army and First Resource Center need help with the annual Bell Ringing Campaign. This year, the Salvation Army need ringers from Nov. 29 until Dec. 24.

With supplies critically low, the local Salvation Army hopes to raise $25,000 this year. Last year, the campaign raised $18,000 – $3,000 over its $15,000 goal.

“Funds are desperately needed as donations from our local groceres have steadily declined,” board Chairman Kurt Sohn, of the First Resource Center, said.

Aside from bell ringers, Palestine's Salvation Army needs donations.

With the simple gift of time, bell ringing provides an opportunity to make a real difference for needy people.

“This year we will expand our coverage areas,” Sohn said. “We will have bell ringers at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, and Brookshire’s, if they’ll allow us.”

Volunteers need only stand, smile, and swing.

“Anybody can do it,” Sohn said. “You ring the bell. They put the money in the kettle. We pick it up. That's it.

“You don't have to say a word, but we do have volunteers that sing or dance. Most of them greet everyone or thank them when they donate.”

This volunteer work can be used for kids and teens service projects, as well as for those who need to work off court-appointed community service.

Volunteers do not need to commit for the entire season: They can volunteer for one two-hour shift, one day, or the same shift for multiple days.

Red Kettles is the Salvation Army’s biggest fund-raiser of the year. Donations collected in Palestine stay in Palestine. The Salvation Army has joined with First Resource Center to provide funding for the Food Pantry.

Contributions go toward purchasing food for the East Texas Food Bank to help those in need in Palestine and Anderson County.

Business and organizations can also get involved. The Salvation Army takes small or large tax-deductible contributions. Checks must specify “Salvation Army Palestine” for the money to stay in this community.

The Salvation Army is one of the world's largest providers of social aid.

Locally, they feed the hungry, pay utility bills, establish community centers, and provide disaster relief. The Salvation Army also work in refugee camps, especially among displaced people in Africa.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Blinda Craig, 903-731-9270, or storehouse801@embarqmail.com.

If you would like to make a direct contribution, please mail it to First Resource Center, PO Box 4366, Palestine, TX 75802.

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