The sound of ringing bells is one of the many joys that becomes familiar to those celebrating the holidays, none more familiar than those volunteering for the Salvation Army.
Collection kettles have been placed at businesses all around LaGrange and Troup County in order to raise awareness of those less fortunate and to encourage those passing by to donate.
“The kettle goal this year is $25,000 and we are well on our way to that,” said LaGrange Salvation Army Captain Chris Powell. “The community has been very supportive of us.”
The Salvation Army made its land in LaGrange in 1917 and had its first church building dedicated in 1921. It left LaGrange around World War II but made a return in the late 1970s.
Since then, the Salvation Army has been promoting the message of the Bible as well as providing assistance for the citizens of Troup and Heard counties.
The most common way that the Salvation Army has collected its donations is from the kettles.
According to Powell, “kettle season” traditionally begins on Black Friday and lasts until Christmas Eve.
“There’s two kettles at Walmart, one at Big Lots, one at Kroger and one at the Piggly Wiggly on Sawmill (Plaza),” Powell said.
The kettles have started to expand outside of LaGrange. Several businesses in the surrounding areas have opened up to allowing the Salvation Army to place kettles outside of their locations.
“On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays we have a kettle at the Piggly Wiggly in Franklin and Ingles has given us permission to have one in Hogansville from the 14th through the 24th of December,” Powell said.
But donating to the kettles is actually one of the many ways someone can contribute toward the Salvation Army cause.
“We are always open for individuals to come volunteer and ring the bell for us,” Powell said. “We have volunteer opportunities here at the store to help sort clothing. Also, during Christmas, our distribution warehouse where we give out our angel tree gifts, my wife can always use volunteers to help sort that out as it’s coming in as well as on the days of distribution.”