Christmas Kickoff

Florence City Councilman George Jebaily (left) and Salvation Army Maj. Michael Rogers cut the ribbon to officially launch this year's Red Kettle Campaign during a ceremony on Nov. 6 at Magnolia Mall in Florence.

FLORENCE, S.C. -- The Salvation Army kicked off the Christmas Season in style Wednesday evening with carols sung by six members of the Florence Men’s Choral Society and a political dignitary to cut a ribbon.

Set up in Magnolia Mall, where Santa Claus will soon be, the Corps officers gathered for media interviews along with Florence City Councilman George Jebaily, who cut the ribbon and contributed the first $100 of this year’s campaign.

The Army throughout the Christmas season has Angel trees set up throughout the Pee Dee where people can adopt a child and purchase for them clothing, toys and other items to be delivered for Christmas.

The Army also has Red Kettles set up at businesses throughout the Pee Dee, where bell ringers toll the good news and passers-by can contribute to fill the community’s need.

The Florence Corps of the Salvation Army serves more than 600 families and children at Christmas, Maj. Michael Rogers said.

That assistance comes in the form of toys, clothing, food and, in some instances, visits for families, shut-ins and residents of nursing homes.

“Christmastime is our annual appeal, our largest fundraising time for money we need throughout the year,” Rogers said.

Christmas Kickoff

Six members of the Florence Men's Choral Society provide Christmas carol accompaniment to the Salvation Army's Red Kettle kickoff on Nov. 6 at Magnolia Mall in Florence.

This year’s fundraising goal is $100,000 — money that will help beyond just Christmas.

“When the Red Shield, the stands and the kettles all go away, we still need to help people throughout the year,” Rogers said.

That help comes in the form of a homeless shelter, rent and utility assistance as well as food and clothing assistance.

In addition to the $100,000 goal, the Army has one other great need, Rogers said. Volunteers to ring the bell.

Anyone who wants to volunteer for the Army this Christmas can call the Corps headquarters at 843-662-4461 or stop by at 2210 Hoffmeyer Road.

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