HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED You can help the Salvation Army this Christmas season in many ways:
THE GREATEST SEASON OF THE YEAR
Christmastime is an incredible season for the Salvation Army. Yes, the Salvation Army works year-round to raise funds and provide services, but most of their revenue stream is received in the months before the end of the year. Recruiting for their five major outreach programs starts as early as September, and thousands of people in Polk County get involved, easily making it one of the area’s biggest seasonal outreaches. Most well known are the “red kettles” and the bell ringers who have become an earmark of the holiday season. Every year, 3,000 volunteers sign up to ring the bells to help the Salvation Army raise a significant portion of their yearly budget; last year alone they raised well over $100,000! All of the money from local bell ringers stays in Lakeland to support the Salvation Army Community of Hope and supports their emergency efficiencies, family programs, and the Hazel Haley H.A.L.O Center. Aside from the red kettle bell-ringing, there are several other ways to get involved. You can give generously to a family in the Emergency Center by adopting them directly and donating Christmas gifts. You can fulfill a child’s holiday wish by selecting an angel from the Angel Tree at the Lakeland Square Mall, stuffing a stocking, or hosting a Toy Drive. You can participate in Santa’s Shoes, a program that gives new shoes to families in the Community of Hope’s programs. The Salvation Army isn’t the only provider of homeless services in Lakeland, but they are the innovator of them. They’ve helped shape our city’s views on helping others for almost a century, and we’re excited to see where their generous leadership takes us in the future. 78
• Volunteer to ring a bell • Sponsor a child on the Angel Tree at the Lakeland Square Mall • Host an Angel Tree in your workplace • Start a toy collection drive or children’s clothing drive • Adopt a family in the emergency shelter or transitional program and help them have a joyful Christmas • Stuff a stocking with small gifts for kids (stockings are provided by the Salvation Army) • Participate in Santa’s Shoes, and provide a new pair of shoes for someone living at the Salvation Army You can help the Salvation Army throughout the year by: • Packing food boxes • Mentoring a parent at the Community of Hope • Teaching a life-skills class • Volunteering to help with maintenance • Providing welcome kits for families entering the emergency shelter • Raising awareness about issues surrounding homelessness If you would like to volunteer for the Salvation Army, please contact Skylar Harrison at skylar.harrison@uss. salvationarmy.org or call 863.940.2868 ext. 26543.
Bohemian Farmhouse / Standing for Hope / Space Ghost Pie / The Taste of Tradition / Holloway Park