Salvation Army making plans for Christmas

by W. Winston Skinner


Bette Hickman, chairman of the local Salvation Army Advisory Board, makes a comment during a meeting of the Christmas committee. At right is board member Cecil Cornwell. 

Christmas is a busy time — particularly so for the Salvation Army.

Volunteers with the Newnan Service Center have been busy planning for the Christmas season, when the ministry mounts its major fundraising push and reaches out to people in need. The Christmas committee met recently at the service center and talked about recruiting bell ringers, the bellringing schedule and plans for countertop kettles.

Cecil Cornwell said a better job needs to be done explaining how much bellringers get from volunteering. “A satisfied customer is the best salesman,” he said, noting how often people who ring at the red kettles say the time spent was the most satisfying gift they have ever given.

Often, as plans are made for logistics and schedules, “we do not realize the impact it’s had on the ringer,” he said.

It was noted that families can ring together. Some people like to sing carols while ringing.

“This is about our community. Any citizen who is willing to give that time — to have that experience, standing on the corner ringing for the Salvation Army — the’re welcome to do that,” said Bette Hickman, who chairs the center’s advisory board. “We have a new vision. Some of these new ideas, we’re going to try this year,” Hickman said. A brochure has been prepared, and plans are being made to pair new ringers with more experienced ones.

Background checks are run for all ringers over 18. Ringers under 18 must work with an adult.

Fred Miles talked about plans for the use of countertop kettles. “Right now I have a list of 28 locations. I think we have 23 kettles. More than half of them are locations we had last year,” he said. The countertop models will be placed the week of Nov. 11.

Stephanie May, center director, outlined plans for the Angel Tree program, which helps needy families at Christmas. The Salvation Army is collaborating with Bridging the Gap for toy distribution.

During the week of Thanksgiving, the Salvation Army will work with Southtowne Motors to deliver Thanksgiving meals. The Salvation Army will also take part in the Christmas parade in Newnan.

Although the actual red kettle drive will start in November, a kickoff will be held Dec. 6 with board members ringing at Walmart for several hours. A kickoff program will be held at 5 p.m.

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