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Reader Opinion: The season for giving

Growing up, I remember playing Christmas carols with my parents outside a retail store in brisk December days in Michigan. It's a memory I carry to this day and, honestly, although the Christmas season is a lot of work, it's always one of my favo...

Growing up, I remember playing Christmas carols with my parents outside a retail store in brisk December days in Michigan. It's a memory I carry to this day and, honestly, although the Christmas season is a lot of work, it's always one of my favorites in The Salvation Army. They actually go hand in hand, Christmas and the Red Kettle. There's nothing like spending hours volunteering outside because The Salvation Army's work is benefitting people in our community with the greatest need.

Last year, through our special service programs, we helped 19,437 people. Whether that's through providing a place to stay on cold, frigid nights; baskets of food and hygiene items for those who need some help getting through the month; hot meals through our mobile kitchen when disaster strikes in our backyard; or being a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen as people share their stories and heartaches. For a lot of people, The Salvation Army is their last hope, and we're all about second chances and giving people a fresh start at life. Just the other day I was in a meeting and was able to hear how The Salvation Army gave a person a second chance. To hear where he was to where he is now was astounding.

This year, as we approach the Christmas season, I invite the community to volunteer to ring a bell for a few hours. That time spent helps us achieve our goal and ultimately makes a difference in our community. We also ask the community to give this season. The goal has increased this year but so has the need in our community. We need your help to continue to provide the services we do every day. We couldn't do what we do without your support and dedication volunteering during this season.

Lt. Grant Holloway

Brainerd Lakes Salvation Army

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