Christmas in July for the Salvation Army - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Christmas in July for the Salvation Army

PEARL, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Dozens of bell ringers descended upon Trustmark Park this evening before the Mississippi Braves' home game.

They did so to help out the Jackson Salvation Army.

But these aren't your average volunteers.

The familiar holiday sight and sound took place Saturday afternoon, in the middle of summer.

"In case you haven't noticed the change in temperatures, it's Christmas in July for the Salvation Army," Jackson Salvation Army Capt. Ken Chapman said.

For the hundreds of people pouring into Trustmark Park, that meant a time to give.

The event brought Rod Denne' here. He's one of more than 50 people raising money for the Salvation Army's Women's Auxiliary.

"I'm from New Orleans, and so, after Hurricane Katrina, the Salvation Army played an integral role those first few days, making sure our family had the support they needed until they got back to New Orleans," Denne' said.

Jackson's Salvation Army is no stranger to disaster itself, having lost its thrift store earlier this year to fire.

"Each week we're not open with the thrift store, we're losing about $20,000 a year. We're about $180,000 in the hole right now," Chapman said.

Saturday's efforts will raise money to help women and children who are abused or disenfranchised.

That need, Chapman says, is huge in this area.

"We're working right now to get a separate shelter for women and children, but in the meantime, we put them up as they need it for an extended stay in other places that we can protect them and keep them taken care of when they're in need," Chapman said.

Their goal today is $5,000, but Denne' says that's not unrealistic at all, considering where it's coming from.

"I think if you notice through all the disasters and all the needs, we usually step up in a number, a different variety of ways, whether it be our service, whether it be our dollars," Denne' said. "I think it's just part of our DNA here."

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