Archived Story

United Way becoming whistle blowers

Published 12:06am Saturday, August 13, 2011

NATCHEZ — Holiday fundraising in Natchez will be complete with all the bells and whistles this year.

Well, maybe not the bells.

When the Natchez Salvation Army closed in November 2010 due to slow sales and high crime rates, it took its patent on bell ringing outside of stores for fundraising with it, United Way of the Greater Miss-Lou Executive Director Tiffany Mascagni said.

So United Way will answer with whistles to attract attention, she said, which works out because they’re going to capitalize on their long-time partnership with the NFL to host the United Way/NFL Holiday Fundraiser.

“The volunteers are going to be dressed in football jerseys, and instead of numbers on the jerseys, we’ll have ‘175,000,’ which is our campaign goal (for the year),” Mascagni said. “There will be a giant football for people to put their donations in.”

The event will run 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23 in the Walmart parking lot, she said. At least two volunteers will be present at all times.

In the 2010 holiday season, she said, there was no one to collect the money that the Salvation Army had previously solicited. But this year, since United Way had more time to plan for the Salvation Army’s absence, Mascagni said she hopes to get local clubs involved.

“I feel (the fundraiser is) very important, because some of the other agencies are tied in on a national level, and when they do holiday fundraisers, the money goes (out nationally),” Mascagni said. “Even though the Salvation Army is no longer here, other agencies have to take up the slack.”

No goal has been set for the Holiday fundraiser, but $175,000 is United Way’s annual goal, she said.

“We don’t know what Salvation Army raised, we just don’t want that (money) to go untapped,” she said. “People are more inclined to give during the holiday season.”

Mascagni said other fundraisers throughout the year that contribute to their overall goal include the annual golf tournament — which was June 9 — and the jambalaya cook off, which will be Aug. 26.

Collections will be distributed to places such as the Catholic charities, the Guardian Shelter, the Red Cross and Adams County 4-H, according to information provided by United Way.

If someone is interested in getting involved with the holiday fundraiser, Mascagni said he or she should contact her or Tammy Prince at 601-442-1081, or e-mail Prince at tprince@unitedwaymisslou.org.

  • Anonymous

    Are they really going to be blowing whistles? Couldn’t they just have the giant football without the annoying shtick?

  • Anonymous

    By nature, I’m a giver, but a whistle blowing and blarring at you coming in any establishment or leaving, is enough to have an opposite effect it was intended to, as far as I’M concerned.  The bell is loud enough and gets enough attention IMO and low donations from last year, may have had nothing to do with the kettle being seen or not.  Ring the bell, but blowing a whistle is harassment, IMO. 

  • Anonymous

    sad the salvation army closed but i agree with the others that the bells were a much better idea (didn’t hearing them ring get you in the Christmas spirit?)

  • Anonymous

    It is a shame our local citizens and local government did not rally behind the Salvation Army in persuading them to stay here….. What kind of town have we turned into?????  Our whole country has gone to hell I guess, but at times we seem to be leading the way…….. PLEASE come back Salvation Army!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Each new day brings new ideas to think about. How many minds thought up this idea !!!  And don’t you just love that last paragraph telling others with ideas to contact someone on this committee?  Whistle blowing along with football gear?? What a BIG nuisance for Christmas shoppers to have to contend with. Bring back the Salvation Army. They had a great idea, they remembered what Christmas was all about. The birth of our Christ. The NFL had nothing to do with that.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t give to organizations that practice bigotry. Salvation Army needs to go back and rethink their positions and actions. Until then my charity gladly goes elsewhere.