CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Wherever there’s a need, you’ll find The Salvation Army. Serving Washington County since 2016, they rely on dedicated volunteers and generous donors to fulfill their mission of “Doing the Most Good.” You can join the army of hope this holiday season by volunteering as a bell ringer for the local Red Kettle Campaign.
Although the primary goal of the Red Kettle Campaign is raising money, bell ringers also help increase awareness of The Salvation Army and their efforts to support Southern Utah’s less fortunate residents. When you volunteer to stand at a kettle, you’re not just spreading holiday cheer – you’re changing lives.
“Every dollar that’s raised here stays in our community to help people in need,” said Maj. Bob Schmig of The Salvation Army’s St. George Service Unit. “It doesn’t go anywhere else.”
Funds raised during the holiday season help sustain The Salvation Army’s community outreach programs all year long. In 2023, the Red Kettle Campaign raised about $53,000 to benefit local families by providing food, bus passes, gas cards, school supplies and more, along with Christmas presents through the Angel Tree program.
Joining the Red Kettle Campaign is easy. Visit registertoring.com and sign up either as an individual or as part of a group, then enter your zip code to view available volunteer shifts in your area. Each shift lasts two hours, and volunteers can sign up for as many different shifts as they wish.
The Salvation Army has placed kettles at 12 locations across St. George, Washington City, Hurricane and Santa Clara. Ringing hours are Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Dec. 23.
“We really need ringers,” Schmig said. “We’re going to lose one of our biggest money days, Christmas Eve, because it lands on a Sunday this year, and we don’t ring on Sundays.”
If you’re not able to volunteer, please consider giving. The Salvation Army has partnered with Carl’s Jr. this year, and every person who gives at a kettle will receive a coupon for a free kid’s meal at any Southern Utah Carl’s Jr. location.
The Salvation Army also accepts direct monetary donations via check or money order. You can send your contribution to P.O. Box 910129, St. George, UT, 84790.
Another way to help The Salvation Army spread Christmas cheer is through the Angel Tree program. Every Angel Tree contains wish tags belonging to local children whose families lack the financial resources to afford many essential items, not to mention gifts.
Angel Tree donors are encouraged to buy clothes and toys for each child. After purchasing the items, you can take them back to the Angel Tree location for safekeeping. All donated items will be distributed by The Salvation Army before Christmas.
This year’s Angel Trees are located at JCPenney in the Red Cliffs Mall as well as the Walmart on Pioneer Road in St. George. Find a tree, pick a tag, buy a gift and make a child’s Christmas wish come true.
The Salvation Army helps local families navigate food insecurity, unexpected job loss, eviction and other concerns. Along with seasonal volunteer opportunities during the Red Kettle Campaign, they’re always in need of volunteers to help pack food boxes for pickup at their newly relocated outpost in Washington City. With the support of the Utah Food Bank, they provided 70 families a Thanksgiving meal this year.
“We can make a difference in this community,” Schmig said. “The people who come out to volunteer are helping right here in our little corner of the world.”
Visit The Salvation Army’s website to learn more about how to get involved this holiday season and all year round.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
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