Holiday Help Hope For The Year

11.11.11 | Jeremy Miller

It's that time of year when the hustle and bustle of the holidays could frazzle even the coolest of customers. Amidst all the shopping, planning, cooking and baking, the Salvation Army kicks off their Red Kettle Campaign and continues with their mission to help those in need. Major Thomas Applin, the Salvation Army's Coordinator for Buffalo Area Services, says this year's level of need is greater than ever. "In Buffalo, along with all of the Salvation Army's across the country, these are difficult times economically and that's had a profound effect upon the monetary support for the pulpit of the Salvation Army." said Major Applin. He added that this is an important time for the ministry that counts on the spirit of giving during Christmas to fund their efforts throughout the year. He said, "We're in operation 24-7 and the money we raise at Christmas is critically important to us in keeping our programs going throughout the year." Everyone has seen the kettle in the malls, outside of shopping centers and near big name stores during the holiday shopping season, but they don't just give toys to kids on Christmas morning. Whether you drop a quarter in the kettle, or a buck, or a big, fat check, that money goes toward a myriad of services and programs to help those who need it. With so many people losing their homes in the this year's flooding, or getting laid-off at work, or watching helplessly as the bank forecloses on their mortgages, the need for the Salvation Army has been great. "We're feeding people all year long, we're housing people all year long that are in emergency situations, we're clothing people, we're doing back-to-school drives and summer day-camp and summer camp and all kinds of programs that just assist and help the people of various communities," Major Applin said. Donations of clothing, coats, blankets, food and new toys are also welcome. Speaking on behalf of all the Salvation Army units in our listening area, Major Applin said they need support from people like you in order to make the programs "viable and operational." So this year, when you see the Red Kettle and you take the 5 seconds to pull the change out of your pocket to make that unmistakeable "clinging" donation, you know you just helped to give the gift of hope for someone who desperately needs it.