HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The Salvation Army is reaching out to help hundreds of needy children this Christmas, and you also can help by participating in the organization’s annual Angel Tree program.
Pre-K students from Sacred Heart Catholic School helped the Hattiesburg Salvation Army kick off its annual campaign to provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged children at Turtle Creek Mall on Friday afternoon.
“What a reminder of what we’re about,” said Capt. Stacey Connelly, corps officer with the Hattiesburg Salvation Army. “Being able to help those in need, even the smallest. That’s who we’re wanting to bring joy to this season.”
This season there are 1,200 angels that will be on a Christmas tree at the Turtle Creek Mall. You can help by selecting a name, buying a gift and returning it unwrapped to the Salvation Army, which will deliver it before Christmas.
“Even though last year we had a hundred angels not yet returned, I have faith that all of angels will get adopted and all will be returned,” Connelly said.
South Mississippians weren’t wasting any time in choosing some names. Right after the kickoff, folks started looking for children they could help.
“It’s just very important at Christmas time to give children in need or anybody in need something that they might not otherwise have, so it’s very important and a very good program,” said Jason Ainsworth, a parent of a pre-K student.
“Being a teacher and being with the children it’s important to share I think, with their age group, so they understand who they’re giving to at that age. They don’t have as much as they might have,” said Whitney Walton, an assistant teacher at Sacred Heart Catholic School.
And the Hattiesburg Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign will officially get started on Black Friday. The organization hopes to raise $250,000 this Christmas season.