Salvation Army preps for holiday season

Published 6:53 pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Many people associate the holiday season with selfless giving and bringing good fortune to others. The Pike County Salvation Army tries to bring happiness and give year round, but especially during the holiday season.

The Pike County branch of the Salvation Army operates a thrift store on South Brundidge Street in Troy and also has a food bank where people in need can request items.

Director of the Pike County Salvation Army Kim May said the organization has seen an influx of donations during the holiday season.

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“Our food donations are up and a number of places have held food drives for us,” said May. “Companies and groups like Lockheed Martin, CGI, the Walmart Distribution Center, Army Aviation Federal Credit Union, the Troy Junior Women’s League and Phi Mu, just to name a few, have all helped.”

May also said the Troy First United Methodist Church donates food regularly through the year, and that the donations are needed throughout the year.

“Donations are needed so folks that do not have food can have a meal when they need it,” said May. “The way the economy is right now, a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to. Everyone needs a little help every now and then.”

Another part of the Salvation Army holiday season is the presence of the ever-popular bell ringers. Red Kettle donations date back to 1891 in San Francisco, Calif., to raise money for a local Christmas meal and have become synonymous with the giving spirit of the season.

Over the decades the Red Kettle has spread throughout the country and overseas to Korea, Chile, Japan and all parts of Europe. The kettle has also become a large part of the Salvation Army’s operating budget today.

“That money donated helps the Salvation Army throughout the rest of the year,” said May. “All the donations received go a long way to help a lot of people in need.”

The Red Kettles and bell ringers will be stationed throughout the Troy area during the holiday season, and May said the Salvation Army appreciates all donations.

“I know the majority of the people out there ringing those bells are volunteers,” said May. “I personally always try to help, because a little bit goes a long way.”