Bell ringers for the Salvation Army have a very important job, collecting money to make Christmas special for those in need. For Jackson County, that need is great.
"When they started with the plant closings in Moss Point early in the year, we kind of predicted that this would come on our door step and other organizations such as ours," Salvation Army Major Harvey Adams said. "Unfortunately, it's here."
Adams says about 700 families have sign up for assistance this Christmas, and 80 percent of those are new clients.
"They've indicated to us that they've always been in the position of giving, and never thought they'd be on the receiving end. And we try to reassure them, and let them know that one of the reasons why we're here."
Kettle donations totaled about $40,000 last year. The Salvation Army needs twice that amount this year. Officials say they are going to have to work even harder to raise the money.
"These are challenging times," Adams said. "We feel confident that with the generosity of the public that we can meet the need."
And Salvation Army bell ringers are doing all they can to get people in the Christmas Spirit, and encourage them to have a generous heart.