JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The Salvation Army is calling on the community to help make two of its major fundraisers a success this holiday season.
The Angel Tree Program provides free Christmas gifts to less fortunate children and senior citizens, and the Red Kettle Campaign funds vital programs in the community.
“Sometimes you have to pay the electric bill before you put presents under the tree, and we don’t want there to be any children missing out on that magic of Christmas," said Michelle Hartfield, director of public relations for Salvation Army. “We want it to be a joyful season for everyone.”
The Salvation Army has taken on the task of helping 2,500 angels as part of its yearly Angel Tree Program. Thanks to hundreds of generous donors, it provides gifts such as toys, clothes, and electronics for children and seniors who have otherwise might not get anything for Christmas.
But with a Wednesday deadline looming, Salvation Army officials say they are still 73 angels short of their goal.
“We do need those 73 adopted to make sure everyone we pledge to provide for will have the best Christmas possible,” said Hartfield.
This is one of two Salvation Army programs to help the less fortunate.
The sound of bells could be heard in south Jackson Monday.
Salvation Army Bell ringers are also working to raise money for the Red Kettle Campaign.
“We have so many people in need during the holiday season, so it is our chance to give back to the community,” said bell ringer Patrina Dace.
“If the tables were turned, you would want someone to give to you,” said bell ringer Imaya Woodruff.
The goal this year for the Red Kettle Campaign is $485,000. So far, officials say they have raised a little under half of that amount.
“We have Until Christmas Eve, that’s our last kettle day, so we just are encouraging people to give. Pennies matter. We do use the money raised by these kettles to fund our programs for the first half of next year," said Hartfield. “Even $.50 in a kettle helps to put food on someone’s plate, helps keep the electricity on in our shelters for the homeless are not on the streets.”