Salvation Army seeks volunteers
By Sandi P. Beason
Bells will be ringing this Christmas, and it's for a worthy cause.
The Salvation Army Kettle Drive will kick off this Friday and continue through Dec. 24, said Salvation Army Capt. Philip Swyers.
"We're looking (to raise) $50,000 this year," he said. "We will be at the Mall (at Barnes Crossing), Wal-Mart, Sam's and Kroger."
Swyers said the Salvation Army Kettle Drive is the agency's biggest fund-raising event of the year, and volunteers are needed to ring the bells this year. Last year, approximately $46,000 was collected.
"The year before was higher," he said. "With the economy, we expect more people to come to the Salvation Army for help."
The Salvation Army helps less fortunate families pay for rent, utilities and food, Swyers said. In the wake of a string of corporate layoffs, he said, the need will likely increase three-fold.
"We're in need this year of our fund-raiser doing well," he said. "We depend on the money in the kettles to support Salvation Army programs."
The Salvation Army will also provide dinners on Thanksgiving Day, he said.
"Last year we had an all-time high number of people served," he said. "We served 1,400 dinners."
The agency serves people who come to its Carnation Street gymnasium, where the dinners are handed out, and also delivers meals to seniors and others who are homebound.
"This year, we're cooking 55 turkeys," he said.
Monetary donations, as well as donations of drinks, desserts and casseroles, are needed for the program. Food will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
From 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, free Thanksgiving dinners will also be available at The Orchard, located at 3725 Cliff Gookin Blvd. For more information on The Orchard, call 844-3310.