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Red Kettle bell ringers critical to Salvation Army services

Sue Guinn Legg • Nov 3, 2019 at 6:28 PM

With the holidays just around the corner, the Johnson City Salvation Army is making an appeal for support its largest and most visible fundraiser of the year.

The Salvation Army Red Kettle campaign is set to kick off Nov. 15 and Lt. Antwann Yocum, commander of the Johnson City corps, said the familiar holiday bell-ringing drive will play a critical role in year-round services for the community.

“Even though it’s been a tough year financially for the oldest charity in Johnson City, the organization shows no signs of slowing its mission to love the needy,” he said. “The Salvation Army in Johnson City continues to provide a warm place for the homeless to sleep. The homeless veterans and others find warmth, a hot meal and a caring staff to provide hope on the cold nights. If there is one thing the community can count on, it’s the Salvation Army.”

Yocum said a strong Red Kettle Campaign will bolster the Salvation Army’s ability to provide those services and others, including financial and rental assistance to families and individuals at risk of becoming homeless and the Angel Tree program that this year will include more than 1,500 children in Washington, Carter and Unicoi counties.

Of the three primary ways the community can help, Yocum put volunteering at the top of the list.

“Volunteering at the Red Kettle keeps cost for labor down and it garners better support in giving” he said. “We encourage any church groups, civic clubs and families to sign up.” Families and organizations may adopt a kettle to staff for the holiday season or arrange for preferred time slot to ring the bells online at regsitertoring.com or by calling the Salvation Army at 423-926-2101.

Yocum said, “The second way that you can support the Salvation Army this Christmas is by giving at the Red Kettles. Every donation helps and there is no amount that is too small. In fact, on each of the four Fridays after Thanksgiving any donation amount in the kettles, citywide, will be matched.”

Finally, he said, community members can support the Salvation Army at Christmas by adopting Angel Tree children at Angel Trees soon to be located at local Walmart stores, The Mall at Johnson City and other business locations around the area.

The Angel Tree program will commence with a kickoff celebration at the mall set for Nov. 21. Yocum expressed appreciation for early support for the Angel Tree project from sponsors, including Mitch Cox Companies, Blackburn, Childers & Steagall, BCS Wealth Management, Covenant Trust and Advisors, Ballad Health, Johnson City Press and WJHL.

“Compelled by the love of Christ,” the Salvation Army’s mission is “to meet human needs in Jesus’ name without discrimination.”

More information about the local Salvation Army may be obtained by calling 423-926-2101 or by visiting Salvation Army Johnson City, TN on Facebook.

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