Salvation Army leaders hope for increased holiday giving

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

This time of year you usually get a warm greeting as you walk in the door of your favorite store. The Salvation Army kicked off their bell-ringing campaign Friday morning in the Cumberland Valley.

This year those with the organization have high hopes for what the year will bring, especially after last year.

"It's about seeing the joy in people's faces," said Samuel Odom.

It's Odom's second year to ring a bell for the Salvation Army.

"I think it's going to be a nice Christmas. I see the spirit in people already," said Odom.

The organization raised more than $100,000 in its kettle campaign in Southeastern Kentucky last year.

But that figure was less than years before.

"It was really cold and wet," said Odom.

"I had to cancel bell ringing days," said Capt. Adrian Twinney, of The Salvation Army.

Officials blame some of the problems on the weather, as well as the sluggish economy.

But they hope this year things will change. Money from this year's campaign will go toward starting a soup kitchen in Middlesboro.

"We have children who at lunchtime at school are taking their fingers and wiping their plates, because they know their next meal they are going to receive is breakfast at school the next morning," said Twinney.

And it's those small donations that provide services, desperately needed at this time of year.

"The Salvation Army is there for anybody that needs their help," said Odom.

Bell-ringing jobs are paid positions, and leaders with The Salvation Army said that is another way they are helping to put money in the local community.

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