Salvation Army prepares for holiday fundraising

The Salvation Army in Pine Bluff enters the holiday season determined to meet the needs of what officials say is a growing number of residents who are experiencing economic difficulties.

Salvation Army Capt. David Robinson said that the annual Red Kettle and Angel Tree campaigns are preparing to get underway with a strong sense of urgency.

The fund raising goal for 2012 is $87,000, according to Robinson.

“We will be having our Red Kettle-Angel Tree kickoff Wednesday (Nov. 14) at 3 p.m. on the mezzanine level of the Simmons Bank building at 5th Avenue and Main Street downtown,” Robinson said. “The number of people depending upon our Angel Tree campaign is way up from last year. We have 389 families this year versus 304 last year. We have 717 kids this year versus 536 last year. The number of senior citizens who we are helping has gone up to 108 from 96 last year.”

“We need all hands on deck,” Robinson said. “With this many Angels and the need in the community continuing to grow we need people to give.”

Robinson said that the kickoff event will include remarks from Simmons First National Bank Chairman and CEO J. Thomas May as well as a brass band made up of members of the Pine Bluff Community Band.

“Our bell ringing starts Nov. 16 and we need volunteers,” Robinson said. “People can sign up for a day and a time that is convenient for them. They can sign up for one hour, two hours, or however much they would like to do.”

Robinson said that people wishing to volunteer to ring for the Red Kettle campaign or who wish to learn more about sponsoring someone from the Angel Tree should call 534-0504.