by Georgiana Rushworth
Jingle Bells and Silver Bells, Ring a bell? Well, the Salvation Army will be at your local shopping mall and they could always use your help.
The Salvation Army’s tradition of serving those in need began in 1865 with the vision of William Booth. Booth, a Methodist minister, took to the streets of London to feed, preach and help the poor to find a better way of life. William Booth dealt with the physical and spiritual needs of people more than 100 years ago and laid the foundation for the Salvation Arm’s social service programs we have today.
General William Booth said, “People go about suggesting that we are wonderfully rich; that we have a large income. The fact is that we are wonderfully poor. Thank God that we have a large income, but we are much in the position of the wife who said, `Our John is earning more money than he ever did, but now we have twelve children instead of one.'”
The Salvation Army PenDel Division said that, “In the United States, The Salvation Army annually aids more than 4,500,000 persons at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Kettles have changed since the first utilitarian cauldron that was set up in San Francisco. Some of the new kettles have such devices as a self-ringing bell and a booth complete with a public address system over which the traditional Christmas carols are broadcast. Behind it all is the same Salvation Army message, `Sharing is Caring.'”
The Salvation Army’s theme for their 2000 Holiday Campaign is “Hope for the Holidays.” With your help, they “Hope” to make a difference in the lives of many people and families throughout the PenDel Division. The Red Kettle income goal is $840,000 and all other income from other donations is $2,410,000.
This holiday season will be bright and full of hope for more than 8,000 families throughout Greater Philadelphia who would not otherwise receive nutritious meals, new toys, or clothing. The Salvation Army can only meet the needs of these families with your help as a volunteer.
The Salvation Army’s volunteer coordinator has listed many ways for anyone to get involved. If you are wondering where you may fit in The Salvation Army has categories for volunteer college students, interns, high school students, court-ordered community service churches, and more.
The Salvation Army hopes you will “Share your time, talent, and heart with others.” Call as soon as possible to register for any of the following volunteer events in which you would like to participate. There are seven events specifically for the holidays: Adopt a Family, shop for a family who would not have holidays gifts this year. Contact Tyrone Landers at 215-787-2818. Sort Toys, Dec. 4-22, Monday-Friday 9 a.m.- 4 p.m., help sort the thousands of toys donated by volunteers and donors. Contact Karl Dreher at 215-787- 2818. Pack Food Boxes, The Salvation Army needs help packing food boxes to deliver to needy families this winter. Angel Tree, The Salvation Army hopes to provide gifts for 10,000 “little angles” this year. Place an “Angel Tree” decorated with festive tags listing a child’s gender and age at your company, business, or agency. You and your colleagues choose a tag and shop for the perfect gift. Please contact Margaret Morrison at 215-787-2830. Toy/Food Drives, organize and host a donation drive of toys or non-perishable food that will go directly to needy children and families throughout the greater Philadelphia area. Please call Margaret Morrison to receive a start-up packet, 215-787-2830. Holiday Stockings, they will send you as many stockings as you would like to fill with special holiday gifts. If interested call Margaret Morrison at 215-787-2830. To Adopt a Kettle you may select a day and organize your co-workers, church members, family, or friends to ring in the holiday season. Your group may alternate bell ringers over a series of time slots, so that everyone can enjoy this holiday tradition. This event will run from Nov. 15- Dec. 24, Monday-Friday. Please call The Salvation Army volunteer program at 215-787-2970.
Through its social service programs, The Salvation Army strives to help people find the answers to their needs. At The Salvation Army the unemployed receive counseling, groceries, and other assistance; senior citizens find Golden Age Clubs that offer lasting friendships; the homeless find shelter and guidance in putting their lives back on track; and youth find character building programs that raise their self esteem. The Salvation Army does not only aid those in need with their services over the holidays, but are reaching out to help all year.
If you are interested in getting involved, but are too busy to volunteer over the holidays, donations are always helpful. New blankets, sheets, pillows and bath towels are always needed. Toiletries such as: Shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shave cream and disposable razors are also welcomed. They can never have enough toys for children, or food and drinks for the homeless. There are donation sites all over the Delaware County where donations can be dropped off. To find the closest site nearest you go to www.shinenow.comthrift.htm.
The Salvation Army continues to work where the need is greatest. These social services serve millions of men, women and children in almost 100 nations around the world. Volunteers, contributors and other supporters make the services possible and help the Salvation Army in local communities across the nation.