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Salvation Army Bells Ring Quietly

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It is the Christmas season and one of the hallmarks of the season is noticeably quieter. The Salvation Army bell ringers are not making the same amount of noise. You still see them out in front of stores with their red kettle for collections, but this year the bell ringing is sedated.

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This year the Salvation Army was in the news for being a charity which received funding from Chick-fil-a. Significant coverage was given to boycotts of Chick-fil-a, because they provided financial support to two anti-LGBT organizations, one of which was the Salvation Army and the other was the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Many of the articles failed to mention the names of the two organizations who were said to be Anti-LGBT organizations. The pressure had its effect and Chick-fil-a announced that they would stop their annual donations to the two charities.

The Salvation Army states, “The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operations around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit.”

In 1865, the Salvation Army was started in London’s East End as the East London Christian Mission by William Booth. A number of their early converts were not welcome in other churches: alcoholics, morphine addicts, and prostitutes. In 1878, Mr. Booth reorganized the mission and implemented the military structure that the Salvation Army is known for today. Mr. Booth became the first General of the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army is a national member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Since 2005, the Salvation Army has spent more than $365 million to provide disaster relief to 1.7 million. They can provide canteen feeding units and field kitchens to provide food for the victims of a natural disaster. They provide relief worldwide including helping survivors of the  Indian Ocean tsunami, hurricanes, wildfires, floods and land searches. The Salvation Army also can help with communications after a disaster with their SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) which is a network of ham-radio enthusiasts.

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The Salvation Army reports 1.7 million members in 131 countries. The Salvation Army operates thrift stores and homeless shelters along with providing disaster relief and in developing countries humanitarian aid.

The Salvation Army in Hernando County is located at 15464 Cortez Blvd.
Brooksville, FL. 34613.

They provide the following services to our community:

Emergency Financial Assistance, Food Pantry, Disaster Services, Youth Character Building,
Worship Services and Holiday Assistance.

One of the major services provided by the Salvation Army is the ability to cook and provide food after a natural disaster.  Hernando County was affected by hurricane Irma in 2017.
In July 2018, the organization had distributed more than $9 million in aid for hurricane Irma victims across Florida.  They also put in place a $20 million recovery plan “to meet the long-term needs of the impacted areas.”

These services wouldn’t be possible without the annual red kettle campaign and the volunteer bell ringers.  The red kettle campaign runs from Nov. 29 through Dec. 24.

To sign up for bell ringer shifts, you can go to registertoring.com.    

Local Corps Officers Lieutenants Mike and Julie Chamberlain can be reached at (352) 796-1186.

 

Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil
Lisa MacNeil is a reporter for the Hernando Sun as well as a business technology developer, specializing in website development, content management systems, and data analysis.
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