Salvation Army ramps up Christmas programs

The Pine Bluff Salvation Army Corps is gearing up for a busy holiday season and has several opportunities for area residents to give back to the less fortunate in their community.

The Corps’ Red Kettle bell ringer campaign kicked off Friday at a baker’s dozen worth of locations around town.

Leonard said the Angel Tree Campaign is also up and running.

“We have Angel Trees at Walmart, JCPenney, and inside The Pines mall next to Santa Claus,” Leonard said. “Once again this year we have the names of children up to 13 years old as well as senior citizens hanging on the tree that we are asking people to come out and buy items for. If a family has a child with a special need or there are special circumstances we encourage them to give us a call and we will see what we can do.”

Leonard said the elderly are included because they can sometimes be forgotten during the Christmas season.

“We will also need volunteers to help us with the toy distribution Dec. 20 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at 501 E. 12th Avenue,” Leonard said. “If somebody goes to one of our Angel Tree locations and all of the names are gone, just give us a call and we will provide you with a name. We try to get around as often as we can to add new names to the trees as they are selected.”

Leonard said the Salvation Army is partnering with Walmart for a special event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

“We are partnering for a program called Fill the Truck,” Leonard said. “On that day we are going to drive our Mobile Canteen truck over to Walmart so that throughout the day people can drop off gifts for those in need. Walmart is giving us super support.”

Leonard said those interested in volunteering should call 870-534-0504 and speak with him or with office manager Nina Brown.