Guest Editorial: Consider participating in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program

Guest Editorial: Consider participating in the Salvation Army Angel Tree program

PINE BELT (WDAM) - This is a guest editorial 

Hello, I'm Captain Stacey Connelly with the Hattiesburg Salvation Army. Since you were a little child, when it comes to this time of year, Christmas time, if you are like me, you've always heard it is better to give than to receive.

The truth of the matter is both giving and receiving gifts make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

It's great to be able to spend time with friends and family, spend time away from work, eating, and exchanging gifts. Many of us look forward to when we can welcome those folks from out of town or load up the car and drive to grandma's house.

Christmas means something to us.

However, for many in the Pine Belt, Christmas is just another day. Mom and Dad had to make the difficult decision to pay the bills, keep the heat on, or buy groceries instead of purchasing Christmas gifts for their family. Their love for their children is no less than yours or mine, but the joy of waking to a living room full of gifts under a Christmas tree is not reality for them.

The Salvation Army strives to change that for these kids and we are asking for your help.

Through our Angel Tree program we want to give Christmas away this holiday season by helping out these families who will go without if you and I don't step in to help.

And not just our Angel Tree program but our Red Kettle campaign as well. Without your donations, The Hattiesburg Salvation Army would not be able to provide over 12 thousand meals like we did in 2016. Or provide nearly 7 thousand nights of shelter or 252 days of camp for students.

So, if you see a Red Kettle drop in a few dollar bills. If you see an Angel Tree, pull one of the many tags off and buy the gifts and toys that child has asked for this Christmas. Maybe you don't like to get out with the crowds, that doesn't have to halt your ability to help. You too can participate in giving back by texting HubCity to 51555 and donating that way or you can even adopt an angel online at

Last Christmas, the Hattiesburg Salvation Army provided over 17 thousand toys and gifts for children and families across the area.

So please be a joyful giver this Christmas, and I can guarantee there are hundreds of children living in the Pine Belt who will be overjoyed you did.

May God Bless your family and Merry Christmas from the Salvation Army.