MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Bells will be ringing throughout Memphis this holiday season, thanks to the many volunteers at the Salvation Army Memphis. The jingling of bells is a common sound and sight in front of many stores and locations around Memphis as many people give in hopes of changing and saving lives.
The Salvation Army is looking for more people to reach into their purses and wallets to get into the spirit of giving as they try to reach their goal of $803,000 this year.
Those dollars help in so many ways, such as at the Salvation Army Purdue Center of Hope at 696 Jackson. Its doors opened in 2000, with three shelters housing 122 people each night.
In 2016, it is the largest provider of shelter and services to homeless women and children in the city. Addiction recovery, job placements and permanent housing are just some of the outcomes.
Your dollars also help the Angel Tree program bring Christmas joy to 5,500 children and seniors in need each Christmas, often preventing eviction or utility cutoff, and a canteen ministry and disaster relief to bring caring assistance.
It's why some people want to put their dollars and coins in the red kettles.
"It's a little personal, and it's an emotional feeling just to give in person in that way," an unidentified shopper and donor said.
"I like seeing the person's face when they get the donation. It makes me happy to see them feel happy," another shopper and donor said.
But some volunteer bell ringers in Memphis, such as Ronnie Boyd, have noticed a slowdown in donations in person.
"It's been a little lighter than most days, maybe that's because of the weather, but overall people have been gracious and they seem to want to help the needy," Boyd said.
Your donations help the needy in so many different ways. The Salvation Army is able to pay for programs that address homelessness, poverty, addiction and violence that plague the city of Memphis.
But these days with fewer people shopping at brick-and-mortar stores, it can mean fewer donations going into red kettles to help those in need of help.
Captain Zach Bell heads the Salvation Army Memphis.
"We all shop in different ways. We all go to grocery stores, we are also seeing more people shop online as well. So we understand that so there might be less people going to those stores," Bell said.
It's one of the reasons the Salvation Army is once again going high-tech to reach everyone who wants to give.
They've created a Salvation Army Online Red Kettle for donations, as well.
"The truth is if you're not going to those stores you can always give. We have online kettles. You can go to our website salvationarmymemphis.org and donate from the comfort of your own home," Bell said.
By keeping up with the times, the Salvation Army allows you to use your computer, smart phone or tablet to visit their website and easily donate to their online kettles.
"You select the amount you'd like to give. It's secure and you know your credit card will be OK with us. You're OK to give and donate in the comfort of your own home," Bell said.
Every donation is desperately needed as the Salvation Army Memphis tries to help heal Memphis and our neighbors who need a helping hand not just during the holidays, but year-round.
"Memphis and Mid-South people are the most generous, they really are and that's why we have all the confidence in the world we'll make our goal of $803,000," Bell said.