PHOENIX — Whenever some spare change or an extra dollar gets dropped into a Salvation Army Red Kettle Bell – those donations get put to good use.
On Christmas day at the Salvation Army, a jazz band was setting the ambiance for guests and volunteers, toys were ready to be given to kids and thousands of hot meals were being prepared to be given out or delivered.
After celebrating with her loved ones, LeAanna Loveland and her family have made it a Christmas tradition to come to the Salvation Army every year.
“If we didn’t bring them, they’d be wondering what we’re doing on Christmas morning. We wake up, do breakfast and we come here and serve other people,” said Loveland.
The tradition of giving back doesn't happen without a little work.
Just at the Phoenix location, 7500 meals are given out on Christmas Day.
Half of them are delivered by volunteers.
Hygiene kits and Christmas gifts come in part from what is put in those red kettle bells outside retailers, but the quality time volunteers share with those in need are part of the three ‘S’s’ of the Salvation Army.
“Soup, soap and Salvation,” said Maj. David Yardley
Once the food is worn off or the gifts lose their shine – the quality time may make someone’s whole holiday.
“Just doing something for them, just make me feel good inside like a purpose is being fulfilled. You can talk with them and listen to their stories and they’re not any different to us or anyone else,” said one volunteer.
For more on how you can help those in need, especially after the holidays, click here.