Monday, November 28, 2022

Oxford Salvation Army Launches Holiday Fundraising Campaign with Kettle Kick-Off and Holiday Open House

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

Image via the Salvation Army

Christmas just wouldn’t feel like Christmas without the sound of ringing bells and seeing the big red Salvation Army kettle while shopping for loved ones.

The funds collected in the kettles go toward helping hundreds of local families each year, but Santa needs some “elves” this year to help man the kettles.

Oxford Mayor Robyn Tannehill will kick off the Oxford Salvation Army Service Center’s holiday Red Kettle Campaign at 1 p.m. on Wednesday on the porch of the Salvation Army Family Store, located at 2649 West Oxford Loop in Oxford.

The Red Kettle Campaign is the Salvation Army’s most publicly visible activity each year. 

Between Nov. 25 and Dec. 24, volunteers will be ringing bells at Red Kettles at Walmart and Kroger in Oxford and at Walgreens in Batesville.

Every penny dropped in these kettles stays in our service area which includes Lafayette, Yalobusha, Marshall and Panola counties) and is used to provide assistance to those who need help.

These programs range from providing immediate temporal support to victims of fires and natural emergencies (fires, floods) which may include providing clothing, personal care items and household and furniture items to replace those lost.

“We also offer clothing, household and personal care items, and social service support and referrals to those who are homeless or moving from homelessness to having a home,” said Bobette Wolesensky with the Salvation Army.

The funds also support programs like the Angel Tree Program that provides Christmas gifts to area children as well as medical or mental health services and summer camps for children.

“Bottom line, our store is a portal for a variety of services – both direct and indirect to those in need.  All they have to do is call or walk in so we can get the ball rolling,” Wolesensky said.

Following the kick-off announcement, the store will host a Holiday Open House from 1-5 p.m. and will be signing up volunteers to be bell ringers at our Oxford locations.

Bell ringers can sign up for a two-hour time slot, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. or can choose to do three or more hours or even all day.

Some organizations reserve a four-hour block, and they assign teams to cover the block. Others sign up for a whole day and do the same. 

“We generally encourage bell ringers to work in teams – but many of our ringers “ring solo” and do their 2-hour block alone,” Wolesensky said.

Families are welcome to volunteer and make giving of their time to help others an annual Christmas tradition.

“Children accompanied by adults are a big part of the bell-ringing program,” Wolesensky said. “One of our volunteers brings her daughters and members of her oldest daughter’s dance team and they play Christmas music and dance to Christmas music at the kettle for their shift.”


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