Season of Wishes: Bells are ringing in area for Salvation Army

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 7, 2018


NATCHEZ — It is red kettle season in Natchez, meaning Salvation Army volunteers are hard at work ringing bells of hope for families in need outside of stores throughout the nation, and anyone can join the cause.

Brenda Kates, Salvation Army service center director in McComb, said her office helps fill the needs of local families in nine locations throughout the Miss-Lou.

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Kates said eligible applicants can receive assistance with their financial needs, such as rent and mortgage payments, or physical needs such as food and shelter.

“We are a Christian organization,” Kates said. “Our motto is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs without discrimination. Anyone’s situation can change in the blink of an eye, with natural disasters such as floods, fires, etc. These funds help us meet those needs. When the storm passed through Adams County (in October), the first thing I did is call and asked ‘How can the Salvation Army help?’ … That’s what we do.”

Kates said the application process for financial assistance is extensive, so participants can rest assured that the Salvation Army is a good steward of their donations.

“The people we serve have a severe need,” she said. “When a family must decide whether to feed their children or repair their car in order to get to work, that’s where we step in to help.”

Year after year, local volunteers have stood outside stores in both brisk and hot weather accepting donations with the red kettles, and this year local business have chimed in, Kates said.

“We reached out to some businesses to see if we could get them interested in sponsor a kettle through a monetary donation,” Kates said. “We were hoping to give these businesses some exposure outside of their local area, and they can support the biggest fundraiser that we do.”

Sponsoring businesses, which included the Natchez Markets, were able to have their logos printed on signs that hung above their sponsored kettles, which are now traveling to different stores throughout the region.

Kates said the Salvation Army had sponsors in Adams, Lincoln, Pike and Walthall counties, but there is always room for more help, she said.

“The unmet needs in our area are extensive,” she said. “That is why we need these donations … and we could use a lot more volunteers.”

Kates said people interested in becoming volunteers for the Salvation Army could call 601-600-2020. Monetary donations can be dropped in the red kettles during the holiday season or be mailed to P.O. Box 488, McComb, MS 39649.