Bell ringers are back

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 30, 2010

After an absence of several years, the Salvation Army volunteer bell ringers with their familiar red kettles are back in Covington County this holiday season. The bell ringing began in front of the Andalusia Wal-Mart on Friday, Nov. 19, and the volunteers are at the main entrance and the grocery entrance through Christmas Eve.

Andalusia attorney Sonny James worked with the Salvation Army to return this holiday fundraiser to the county, and he and his wife, Linda, were among the first to ring the bells inviting people to donate.

“I believe the Salvation Army is a wonderful organization, and Linda and I have always supported it through meager financial contributions,” he said. “I just got to thinking that the red kettle and bells were missing from Andalusia and decided to try to ignite my spirit and do a little good for others at the same time. So I contacted the area director and got to work. The response is joyous.”

The Salvation Army, which is one of the largest charitable and service organizations in the world, has existed since 1865 to help those in need without discrimination. Red Kettle donations stay in the local area to help people in the communities in which the donors reside.

“The money raised will be used to assist the residents of Covington County,” James said. “We would like to thank everyone in advance for their support and a special thanks to those who are volunteering as bell ringers.”

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, bases its message on the Bible, and has as its ministry’s motivation the love of God.

Among the services provided by the Salvation Army are food for the hungry, companionship to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, opportunities for underprivileged children, relief for disaster victims, and assistance for the disabled.

With generous donations from the public last year, the Salvation Army served a record number of Americans – more than 42 million – with food, shelter, financial aid, disaster relief and other basic social services.

James said recent economic uncertainty means more people request help from the Salvation Army, some for the first time in their lives. Support is critical this year to ensure that the Salvation Army can continue to provide local help to the people who need it most, he said.

The Salvation Army makes the most effective use of donated dollars, putting the vast majority — nearly 83 percent — of every donation into programs that change lives. Among all non-profits, this is one of the highest percentages of donated dollars spent on service.

Donors who wish to help their neighbors in need this holiday season can do so with just the click of a mouse. The online red kettle makes it even easier for Americans to support the Salvation Army’s efforts to help.

As with all Salvation Army programs, the on-line donations go directly to the Salvation Army center nearest the donor’s local community. This program started to respond to the busy lifestyles of Americans and to address the growing popularity of online shopping during this time of year. For more information, visit

James can be reached at James & James Attorneys at Law 222-1051.

The area Salvation Army Center address is:

The Salvation Army

Dale, Coffee, Covington, Butler, Conecuh, Escambia

1177 East Andrews Ave. Suite E

Ozark, AL 36360