The Salvation Army will kick off its 2019 Christmas Red Kettle Drive with a literal kick-off at the Northside vs. Southside football game on Friday, November 8. The Salvation Army’s largest annual fundraiser, The Red Kettle Drive, enables the organization to serve thousands of people in the River Valley year-round.
The Red Kettle Drive runs from November 9 through Dec. 23. Bell Ringers will be stationed at locations throughout the River Valley including Walmart, Sam’s, Hobby Lobby, Harps, Walgreens, Yeagers, and other retail locations.
How You Can Help: Whether you donate your spare time or spare change, the Red Kettle Drive is a way to give back this holiday season. Individuals may support the year-round work of The Salvation Army by bringing monetary donations to any of the kettle locations or by becoming a volunteer bell ringer. Volunteers keep the Salvation Army from having to hire bell ringers, a cost that can quickly add up. The more people that agree to volunteer, the more money that can be used to DO THE MOST GOOD.
Individuals aren’t the only ones who can volunteer –clubs and businesses can too. Reach out to your community by signing up your business to host a kettle for a week or a day. Show your customers how much you care for your community by matching dollars collected at your business. Need service project hours for your organization? Sign up to ring bells for the Salvation Army. Contact Susan Adams at 479-285-0815 to schedule times and locations.
ANGEL TREE: The Angel Tree is up at the JCPenney wing in Central Mall and is filled with hundreds of angels to adopt. The Angel Tree Christmas assistance program is The Salvation Army’s largest program all year. More than 500 children in the River Valley area will receive new clothing & gifts through this long-running program. Clothing & gifts are provided to needy children, who would otherwise be left out on Christmas. And each of the 500+ families who applied for help through the Angel Tree program will also receive a Christmas food box. All gifts must be returned by 12/6 to 301 N. 6th St. in Fort Smith.
How You Can Help: Angels can be picked up at Central Mall or at The Salvation Army. Gifts can be dropped off at The Salvation Army at 301 N. 6th St. by 12/6. Volunteers will also be needed for toy sorting (December 9-13) and Christmas distribution (December 19). Please contact Captain Staci Gainey at 918-327-1194 to learn more about volunteer opportunities.
THANKSGIVING DINNER: We need food donations and volunteers to help with our annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner and Coat Giveaway. Dinner prep for 300 people will be on November 27 and the meal will be served November 28, 11am-1pm. Here are some items we need:
• 6 Turkeys
• Big Boxes of Instant Mashed Potatoes (Sam’s Club)-6 boxes of Idahoan Real Premium Mashed Potatoes (3.25 lbs.)
• 5 #10 Cans of Corn
• 15 #10 Cans of Green Beans
• Gravy (turkey or chicken flavor) McCormick Brown Gravy Mix 21 oz @ Sam’s Club 5 containers
• 60 Pies or Cakes (not cream pies that have to be refrigerated), Pumpkin/Pecan/Apple Pies, Assorted Cakes, Sugar Free Items, as well.
• 1000 Individual Packages of Butter
• 6 Large Tubs of Butter for Cooking
• 30 Whipped Topping in Cans for Desserts
• 5 Big Boxes or Bags of Stuffing (Sam’s Club)
• 300 Rolls
• 6 gallons of milk
• Canned Cranberry Sauce 60 regular sized cans
• 100 3 Compartment Food Trays (clamshells)
• 300 Dinner Plates (large Styrofoam with 3 sections)
• 300 Plastic Forks, Spoons & Knives
• 500 Napkins
• 500 16oz. Plastic Cups
• 100 Styrofoam 8 oz. Coffee Cups
• Gallon Size Tea Bags for 24 gallons of tea
• 500 Sugar/Splenda/Equal/Creamer/Sweet-N-Low Individual Packages
• 20 Prefilled Plastic Salt Shakers
• 20 Prefilled Plastic Pepper Shakers
How You Can Help: Drop off donations at 301 N. 6th Street by November 21. Contact Jeanne Carrol at Jeanne.firstname.lastname@example.org to inform her of what you plan to bring and to volunteer to help cook and serve.
Take the time this holiday season to reach out to your community and do good for others. Contact the Salvation Army at 783-6145 to start giving back today. Be sure to follow us at www.facebook.com/SalArmyFortSmith to find out more ways you can be a shield in your community.