The traditional red kettle is an integral part of the Christmas scene, with millions of dollars donated each year to aid needy families, seniors, and the homeless, in keeping with the spirit of the season.
Donations provide Christmas dinners, clothing, and toys for families in need. Financial assistance also helps with basic necessities, along with seasonal aid. Families of prisoners are included.
Volunteers distribute gifts to shut-ins in hospitals and nursing homes, and shelters are open for sit-down dinners.
Many families receive aid over a period of months after the Christmas season as well, people struggling with difficult family, emotional, or employment problems.
The Red Kettles and bell ringers are perhaps the most visible community-wide Salvation Army program.
However, during the holidays the impact from the nickels, dimes and dollars put into the kettles is felt when families receive Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, gifts for children, coats and shoes for kids with none to wear, and the elderly and imprisoned are visited and encouraged.
Other Holiday programs include:
- Children’s Angel Tree Toy Drive
- Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner
- Christmas Eve Community Dinner
- Pantry Food Drive
- Holiday Food Baskets
The Salvation Army Angel Tree program allows members of the community to stop at the Angel Tree located inside Tyrone Square Mall and select an angel tag. Each tag is made for either a boy or a girl and has a name, sizes, and suggested gift ideas on it. Once the gifts are purchased they can be returned to the Angel Tree table where they will be processed and distributed to the children whose names are on the tag. The donor is encouraged to take a portion of the Angel Tag and place it on their Christmas tree in their home and to pray for the child they helped at Christmas.
The Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program allows for your group or organization to collect toys and food for an entire family at Christmas. The program encourages the purchase of additional items that the adopted family might need such as personal hygiene and cleaning products, clothing, shoes, etc.
The Adopt-A-Family program makes available the opportunity to know that you have impacted an entire family bringing them the hope of the Christmas season.
The Salvation Army delivers Christmas gifts to more than 50 senior citizen assisted living centers and nursing homes in South Pinellas County during the first week of December.
Teams of volunteers fan out to deliver Christmas gifts and holiday cheer to residents in care facilities. Brief services are conducted where Christmas Carols are sung and lots of warm hugs and thoughtful greetings are shared with the elderly of South Pinellas County.
With more than 45 locations across South Pinellas County volunteers will be able to assist in raising much needed funds to support the annual ministry and assistance programs offered by The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is always looking for volunteers to staff our Red Kettles from mid November through Christmas Eve each year.