MEETING NEEDS
Salvation Army puts up Angel Trees, prepares for Red Kettle Drive

Published 3:06 pm Thursday, November 18, 2021

The holiday season has arrived, and that means the busiest time of the year for The Salvation Army.

Lieutenants Cornelius and Noldine Walton are the local representatives for The Salvation Army, and they were busy Friday putting up the organization’s Angel Trees in Walmart stores in Danville and Harrodsburg. The Angel Trees are decorated with ornaments that feature information about children in need of Christmas gifts who may not receive them without the generosity of those who select an angel and provide the gifts to The Salvation Army.

The local Salvation Army serves Boyle, Lincoln, Mercer, Casey, and Garrard counties. The trees feature the names of more than 300 area children in need this year, but Noldine said this year’s trees have a new feature. This year, some senior citizens are also included in the Angel Tree program. Senior citizens receive food boxes from The Salvation Army, but Noldine said she has seen other areas where she and her husband have served that also included senior citizens because many of them do not have some of the things they need, and this is an excellent way to help provide those items.

“One of the things we decided to change with our seniors is that not only are we going to give them food boxes, but we are also going to make them angels,” she said. “They will need extra gifts like house shoes and other necessities.”

Noldine said this year, there are only 11 senior citizens on the Angel Trees, but she plans to expand that in the future.

“It’s something I want to work on for next year. It’s not just the kids that need help, but our senior citizens do, too,” she said. “Our seniors have been surprised, and said they didn’t think they would be thought of this way. I’ve seen it be successful, and how appreciative the seniors are, just like the kids. I hear that a lot of our seniors are forgotten, so we wanted to include them. Hopefully, we can do more next year.”

In addition to shopping for names on the Angel Trees in person, Noldine said online shopping is also an option this year. She said a list of items requested by the angels is posted online, and people can purchase items that are then sent to the Salvation Army’s local office.

“We’re able to know which kids need the gifts, and we pack the bags for them,” Noldine said.

To shop online for Angel Tree gifts, visit https://tinyurl.com/97ravfb8 on the internet.

She added that gift cards can also be purchased to supply needed gifts for children in the area.

Another staple in The Salvation Army’s fundraising efforts includes the annual Red Kettle Drive. Cornelius said the local drive will begin Nov. 26 and run through Dec. 24.

“We have openings and can use all of the volunteers we can get,” he said. “That money goes right back into our community. Those who give may not be able to see the people they are making an impact on, but we love to assure them that they are making an impact.”

Nadine added that the kettles are what support the Salvation Army program.

“The way our organization works is that Christmas carries us into our program where we are able to do youth activities for the kids, our food pantries, making sure that people are able to pay their light bill, their gas bill and that kind of thing,” she said. “So the more people that can sign up, any businesses or churches that can donate their time to us, would be super helpful.”

Any person or group interested in ringing the bell should contact the Waltons at 859-236-4473 to schedule a time.

Those ringing the bells are asked to do so for at least a 2-hour shift.

Last year, the local Red Kettle Drive collected nearly $77,000 of the $100,000 goal. A portion of that came from a very generous donation of a check for $15,000 that was placed in a local kettle. The Waltons said surprise gifts such as the check are often made in kettles as Christmas gets closer. Noldine said she has also seen jewelry donated. While serving in Jacksonville, Florida, last year, she said someone placed a diamond ring in the kettle which was able to be sold to provide additional funds for the program.

“It’s our favorite part, when we’re so close and we need that boost,” she said. “That helped boost our numbers, and that was during the pandemic.”

Another source of revenue for The Salvation Army are the local thrift stores. With one located in Danville and one in

Stanford, the stores accept donated items, resell them, and put the money toward helping those with needs.

“Again, that goes right back to helping people,” Noldine said. “The more people give to our thrift store, the more we’re able to help the community.”

The thrift stores are located at 517 S. Fourth Street in Danville and 815 E. Main Street in Stanford. Each store is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Donations can be made at the store during hours or placed in bins outside the stores at any time.

For more information, visit www.salvationarmy.org.