BRYAN, Texas — Thanksgiving is just weeks away and the Salvation Army is not wasting any time getting in the holiday spirit.
The annual Angel Tree and Bell Ringers of the Salvation Army can be seen at various locations throughout Bryan and College Station beginning this Friday.
“We’ll go all the way up to Christmas Eve, ringing every day of the week, except for Sundays and really out there for the majority of the day raising those critical funds. The Angel Tree will be open at the mall. For somebody who wants to pick up an angel in person, that will coincide with hours of the mall that are open," said Salvation Army of BCS Lieutenant Timothy Israel.
With the pandemic still present during this holiday season, the Salvation Army predicts it will be in need of more volunteers this year.
“We just don’t know what people's comfort levels are going to be, what people will be willing to go out and volunteer so we’re expecting a little bit of a dip in the number of volunteer hours that we see. We know that there are going to be some individuals that just aren’t comfortable in doing that so we really need others that are comfortable to sign up for more hours," said Lieutenant Israel.
The organization needs about 200 hours of bell ringing each day, which adds up to nearly six thousand hours for the season.
"We volunteer to ring the bells because it’s just what we can do in order to receive funds so that the needy in our immediate community can have a joyous and festive holiday; as well as it goes to provide happiness with the children so that they can have gifts that they wouldn’t ordinarily receive. Everybody needs to be happy," said Salvation Army of BCS Community Service Coordinator Mildred Davis.
The Salvation Army will provide PPE kits for all volunteers.
“They do not have to touch money. We are not allowed to touch any money. People put their money directly into the kettles. We will have PPE equipment and hand sanitizers and all they can do is just wear their little Santa hats and just the receiving of funds for the needs here in the Brazos Valley,” said Davis.
The Salvation Army is asking for any donations possible to the bell ringers because this money will help the organization provide for the community’s needs for the following year. To learn more about helping out virtually or in person this holiday season visit its website here.