Red kettles are ringing

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 16, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

The News-Herald Cheer Fund and Toys for Tots campaigns are under way, and the Suffolk Department of Social services and the Salvation Army of Suffolk are coordinating their efforts to help Santa bring gifts for local underprivileged children.

The Salvation Army will serve people from throughout the Suffolk and the Western Tidewater area through a wide variety of programs.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;The support of our work of the Toys for Tots program over the past several decades has also been critical to the success of the Salvation Army’s efforts to serve the children and the needy families of Suffolk during the holiday season, &uot; said Captain David May, Corps Officer.

According to May, the Army’s service this year will include providing Christmas food baskets to nearly 2,000 families, toys, to nearly 2,500 children, and Christmas gifts to over 3,500 nursing home residents and prison inmates through the League of Mercy Program.

&uot;Altogether, our work will touch the lives of over 8,000 individuals in the Western Tidewater this year,&uot; he said.

In order to serve these thousands of people, May is inviting the public to partner with the Salvation Army in its Christmas effort.

&uot;Each year, we depend upon the generosity of the public and their support of our Angel Tree, our Christmas Kettle, our Doll/Bear Dressing Program and our Stocking Stuffing Program. It is through these programs that we are able to collect a large portion of the toys and gifts that we provide to the people we serve. I can think of no better way to get in the Christmas spirit than to help provide a rewarding Christmas experience for someone else,&uot; said May.

The Salvation Army will also need help to set up and operate the Christmas Toy and Food distribution centers in Suffolk and Franklin. Anyone interested in volunteering should call the office at 539-5201.