A Christmas tradition is now in progress with people ringing bells and seeking donations outside Walmart.
The Salvation Army of Lebanon joins other chapters each year with the tradition of raising funds to help people in need.
Last year’s Red Kettle Campaign raised about $68,000 through community donations and 85 percent of these funds stay right here in Laclede County. The remaining 15 percent is used by the Salvation Army for state and national emergencies. The Lebanon Salvation Army Director Sue Watson said this year’s campaign is still in need volunteers. Around 300 total volunteers are needed through the season to man the red kettles.
A small group of Lebanon High School students on Monday rang the bell and raised about $1,000 for Salvation Army.
“That is great, usually $500 or $600 is a good day,” she said. “$1,000 is really good. They were able to get people to give,” she said. “If we didn’t have volunteers we wouldn’t be able to do nearly as much as we do.”
The bellringing campaign is Salvation Army’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The funds are used for help with rent, utilities, gas for out of town doctor visits, victims of fires, food insecurity and more.
“We feed between 600 and 800 people per month,” Watson added. “We also help hundreds of people with clothing items and we collect clothes for them. We’ve also helped with spiritual needs and I’ve even had someone be saved right here in my office.”
The Salvation Army is also conducting its annual Toys for Tots program Dec. 10 at the Nazarene Church. They will be setting up on Dec. 9.
“We also need people to volunteer for that if anyone’s interested,” she said.
To volunteer, call Salvation Army at 417-532-5135. Donations can be brought to the Salvation Army at 435 Garfield.
The Salvation Army Lebanon, is a branch office of the Christian non-profit Salvation Army, whose mission emphasizes aiding the poor and people in need. The Salvation Army offers human services through its programs, including disaster relief and public emergency services, while taking an evangelical approach.
“You get such a great feeling when you help others in your community,” Watson added. “It’s just an hour of your time and all of these funds are directly going to help our neighbors.”
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