Salvation Army launches Red Kettle Campaign & Angel Tree Program - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Salvation Army launches Red Kettle Campaign & Angel Tree Program

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The Salvation Army is hoping for $325,000 worth of generosity this Christmas season. A kick off party was held in Biloxi for the Red Kettle Campaign as well as the Angel Tree Program. The Salvation Army said about 2,500 South Mississippi children are hoping someone will be kind enough to select their names off an Angel Tree.

Andrea Patino picked up an angel to help the children. "Because they're just so precious and I think it's a good cause for charity"

To kick off the Red Kettle and Angel Tree campaigns, the Salvation Army partnered with the city of Biloxi to create a family fun day with entertainment, snacks, and more.

"Today is our kickoff and it just reminds us that this is the spirit to give," said Major Sharon Ray. "Christmas joy isn't found under the tree but it's found in your heart every day. It's the spirit of giving. We just want to remind everybody if you have the option to give and help somebody else out this is the time to do it."

Salvation Army officials said the kickoff was an opportunity for them to mingle with the community and help people understand how their kettle dollars are spent.

Major Terry Ray said, "To provide financial assistance to families and individuals who come up on hard times. Whether it's a burnout family where they've had a house fire and provide them with a place to stay for a few nights."

"It could be a food basket or gift certificates for food. Financial assistance in the form of rent assistance. We have a lot of families that come to us and they can pay the deposit or the first month's rent but they can't pay both," said Major Terry Ray. "So we're able to with the money we raise at Christmas time stretch that out all year long."

Salvation Army officials said the public can now start selecting angels from trees set up in stores across South Mississippi.

Copyright 2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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