SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The bells ring for weeks, and the Salvation Army’s call is answered in these days before Christmas.
"There's a great need in this community and there are a lot of happy faces going out because there are some great supporters in this community,’’ said Major Paul Egan, corps officer for the Salvation Army of Savannah. “It's fun to be at that intersection of the love in this community and those that need it most.’’
It was a busy intersection this week when individual donations generated greater giving at the Salvation Army's annual Christmas distribution to families in need.
The distribution is one of the main initiatives funded by the organization's red kettle fundraising campaign that will continue until Christmas Eve.
"The money that goes into that kettle comes out as Christmas assistance,’’ says Egan. “It also comes out as sheltering for people. Of the 90 folks who stayed at the Salvation Army last night, about 10 of them were children and they have a place to stay because people put money in that kettle.’’
"So many people came up and they were always the least likely people that would be donating,’’ St. Vincent’s Academy president Mary Anne Hogan said of a Red Kettle event by SVA staff, faculty and students. “And they were saying ‘I was helped by the Salvation Army and that's why I'm giving back.’ It was so heartwarming and that's what the season was about.’’
St. Vincent's this year. So did St. Andrew's School, in one of the more active bell-ringing campaigns in years.
Individuals and groups of volunteers chipped in, WTOC Community Champions ringing, giving and distributing the wonder of Christmas to the community.
"Hopefully,’’ said Egan, “the kids think Santa and their parents came through. The Salvation Army doesn’t need to be involved at all for them.’’