Charity Spotlight: The Salvation Army
When I was about 6 years old, my Dad and I used to do our Christmas shopping in an area which was known as “The Avenue”. This particular avenue was made up of a mile long strip of stores and restaurants along Eastern Avenue in Baltimore City. Many of the shops would be strewn with twinkling lights and glittery garland. Even in the most bitter cold of December, it was an enjoyable walk. It was typical for the donation collectors, or “bell ringers” as they are called, to dress in costume. There was always something so magical about the sight and sounds of seeing Santa on the corner ringing his bell. It was as if the season itself did not officially begin until he was there. Each time we passed him I would beg for whatever spare change my father had so that I could throw it into the red kettle and hear Santa’s famous expression – Ho Ho Ho! It always made me smile. Even to this day. Those “Santas” were such a great source of holiday cheer and positivity in our neighborhood.
It wasn’t until I was much older when I learned that the bell ringers actually had a purpose besides entertaining 6 year olds. In fact, the Salvation Army has been supporting the community and spreading a message of hope for well over a hundred years now! Bell ringers collect donations which help to ensure that needy families have a happy holiday by providing them with food, clothing, and toys for children. A tradition that began in 1871 by Salvation Army Captain Joseph McFee, now assists approximately four and a half million people across the United States from November through December alone. In addition to holiday assistance, the Salvation Army provides housing, youth camps and recreation, veteran’s affairs, elderly, and emergency relief services as well as fighting to combat human trafficking and facilitating reunions between loved ones who have been separated.
What better time than the holiday season to give back to your neighbors? Getting involved is easy. Want to help? We’ve got you covered!
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