By Christie Post - email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Once a year people are ring bells in front of stores all over the country in a tradition dating back more than 100 years. The red kettles raise money to serve people in need 365 days a year, however, the Salvation Army's red kettle donations are off to a slow start this year because people in communities, like ours, need help more than ever.
In Lubbock, the Salvation Army is on schedule to meet their $225,000 goal, but this year it's not enough to fund the significant increase in requests for help.
"The kettle money goes to support rent and utilities. And during Christmas everyone that applied gets a 26 dollar food box that the Salvation Army also pays for," said Captain Nettie Morton, with The Salvation Army of Lubbock.
Last year, the Salvation Army of Lubbock provided shelter and offered assistance to 8,495 individuals and families. And this year the need is even greater, especially in the Angel Tree Program.
"The economic downturn has finally hit Lubbock. We took more applications. We took 1,752 families. Last year we only did 982.Those 1,752 families represent 3,627 children," said Morton.
The Salvation Army's Angel Tree program gives children in need an opportunity to have a present for the holidays. This year they are assisting about 1,000 more families than last year, however 1,400 of the children in the program have yet to be given the toy of their dreams. "Remember your first wish. Your first letter to Santa. That is why it's so important," said Morton.
If the angels on the tree are not adopted by the December 19th deadline, the Salvation Army will use the money out of their kettle donations, which is supposed to last the non-profit through July.
But even with the decrease in donations, the Salvation Army will continue their mission. The non-profit is helping Richard Hoover, providing him with a job during these tough times as a bell ringer. "It just makes my day everyday getting out here and doing this," said Richard Hoover, a local bell ringer.
Hoover said he has nothing to give except to help ring a bell, one thing he can do to pay it forward this holiday season.
"Everyone helps everyone at the same time in the Salvation Army. It's just a beautiful thing," said Hoover.
If you would like to help the Salvation Army click here. The non-profit said it will be accepting all new toys of any kind to the Angel Tree Program and used toys to its Thrift store.
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