Salvation Army donations hold steady

A young Shelby County resident learns early the importance of giving back to the community, as he places his donation in a Salvation Army kettle in Shelby County this holiday season. (Contributed/Salvation Army of Alabaster)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

ALABASTER — Shelby County citizens were in a giving mood this holiday season, and the local Salvation Army poured the generosity back into the community.

Sgt. Andy Bailey, commanding officer of the Salvation Army of Alabaster, saw considerable growth in donations during the past months.

“In general, the Salvation Army, locally, held our own this year even though the need was great when it came to Angel Tree,” Bailey said. “We did around 850 kids. It was up considerably.”

The donation program served 300 more local children than last year.

The Angel Tree program helps provide Christmas for children registered as Angels.

Bailey recognized the generosity of the community, even above the giving of previous years.

“We were able to help a considerable amount of kids this year at Christmas. People were in the mood,” he said.

Although people were “in the mood” to give, donations outside of Angel Tree were slightly lower than the last holiday season.

“We were comparable to last year,” Bailey said, “but donations were down about $1,500 this year.”

Bailey refuses to dwell on the smaller numbers, however, because the needs of the community surpassed previous years.

“We’re up for requests about 21 percent. We’ve got people who are new—first timers—who’ve never asked for assistance,” he said. “But people in the system are still needing help.”

Bailey said a seemingly never-ending call for help from the community, the Salvation Army works tirelessly to supply these needs on a personal basis.

“We had a phenomenal season to help individuals,” Bailey said.

For more information on the Salvation Army, call 663-7579 for the Alabaster location.