Salvation Army Campaign Needs Help

This is the time of year, the folks at the Salvation Army start getting a little nervous. And this holiday season is no exception.

This year's giving is a little behind right now. But Salvation Army leaders are confident, they can still meet their goals.

The need for assistance along the coast is greater than ever. And since donations are down, the charity is faced with playing catch up this Christmas.

Salvation Army bell ringers have a challenging weekend ahead. The red kettle campaign needs a big time boost.

"We need a total of about 30 thousand dollars this weekend to catch up to last year," said Major Darrell Kingsbury with the Gulfport Salvation Army.

But Kingsbury admits, catching up isn't enough. The need for Christmas assistance is 40 percent higher than last year. Such a challenge creates nervousness.

"A whole lot nervous really. Because we've already gone out on faith. We've ordered the food to pack in the food bags. We've already ordered the meat and everything to take care of everybody. And now we've got to get the money in to cover those costs," said Kingsbury.

In Jackson County, the annual angel tree is getting Salvation Army leaders a little worried. There are still some 500 names of children waiting to be "adopted" this Christmas.

Shirley Adams is with the Salvation Army in Pascagoula.

"A lot of times the boys, the older boys, are harder for people to take. I guess they don't know what to buy for them. Most of the babies are taken, the little girls are taken, but it's the older children I think that are left on the tree. And I'm talking the 10, 12 and 13 year olds that are still on the tree," said Adams.

Kip Gregory has "high hopes" for helping the Salvation Army this season. He's once again perched himself 50 feet off the ground in a camper trailer on the front lawn of the coast coliseum.

He's not afraid of heights. And he's confident his "Bikes or Bust" campaign will succeed.

"Over the last three years we've collected over 14 hundred bikes. This year going for 699. Folks are just amazing. This is by far God's country and the best place to live," said Gregory.