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Salvation Army needs Brookhaven bell ringers

The Salvation Army is searching for local volunteers to help with holiday fundraising projects.

Christmas is a time of benevolence and collective charity. So — as the holiday season gets underway — the Salvation Army hopes to enlist a few folks in its winter campaign to ease area poverty.

McComb Salvation Army coordinator Loretta Grady is responsible for managing local holiday bell ringers and organizing area food drives.

“We’re asking businesses in Brookhaven to give our bell ringers a couple of hours of their time,” she said. “And we’d like all school groups to give us four to six hours of bell ringing time.”

According to Grady, money collected in the organization’s iconic red kettles helps fund Salvation Army relief initiatives.

“We have a lot of people that need help after hurricanes and twisters,” she said. “The money goes so fast.”

It’s not uncommon to see friendly volunteers ringing Salvation Army bells in front of local businesses at Christmastime, and the organization relies on those volunteers to solicit badly needed donations.

“We need some help at the Brookhaven Walmart, right now,” Grady said.

Any group or individual interested in joining the Salvation Army’s bell ringing initiative should contact Grady at 601-730-5185.

She is also responsible for heading up area food drives during the holiday season. Grady said local businesses, organizations and schools can deliver any collected canned foods and dry goods to the Salvation Army Thrift Store at 4138 Hwy. 51 in McComb.

Grady said food donations often have a life-saving impact on the community.

Social service worker Laverne Quinn directs another of the local Salvation Army’s Christmastime programs — Adopt-an-Angel.

The Adopt-an-Angel project provides Christmas gifts to the children of area families in need.

“Parents come in and fill out our angels, which are like wish lists,” Quinn said. “They list the child’s age, gender, their clothing size and write out the child’s wish list.”

Anyone who wants to help make a local child’s holiday a little more special can call Quinn at 601-249-0131 for details.

“Most people don’t purchase exactly what’s on the wish list,” she said. “Some people do, but a lot of people just purchase nice gifts for the child.”

Businesses and organizations can also participate in the Adopt-an-Angel program, Quinn said.

The McComb Salvation Army distributes donated gifts on Dec. 15, and the contribution deadline is Dec. 11.

Quinn and her team deliver the gifts to each child’s parents — so they can be unwrapped on Christmas Day.

“Our program wants the kids to feel that their parents are a big part of the gifts being given,” she said.

Story by Trapper Kinchen