Salvation Army Angel Tree and Red Kettle Campaign begins Friday in Vicksburg

Published 3:12 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Christmas is fast approaching. Trees with colored lights are popping up in stores and ornaments and ribbons line the shelves.

The Salvation Army is also gearing up for the season as it kicks off its Angel Tree program and Red Kettle Campaign.

On Friday, Nov. 19, the Red Kettle Campaign will get underway, and beginning at 6 p.m. that night, the Angel Tree will be set up at Uptown Vicksburg, formerly the Pemberton Mall, in the hallway next to Dillard’s. The event will also include a performance by the St. Aloysius choir.

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This year, Major Janna Torgerson said, she has nearly 700 Angels from Vicksburg and Port Gibson, which includes children and senior citizens.

“It’s almost split half and half,” Torgerson said. “I have 375 children and 319 seniors.”

For those interested in adopting an Angel, or two or three, all they need do is select from the tree and then let a volunteer, who will be on-site, assist in the adoption.

Torgerson said there will be no need to guess what Angels may need because there will be a list of ideas printed on each Angel Tree tag.

“The Angels will have a list of ideas for their needs and an idea or two for their wish. Some of the angels will have favorite and that just gives them (the adopter) a little more information about what the child likes,” she said.

Sizes for shoes and clothes will also be listed on each tag.

Angel Tree adoptions are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. All gifts must be delivered by noon Dec. 10.

“The sooner the better. This will give us time to process them. If everyone brings their gifts at the same time, we will be swamped,” Torgerson said.

Gifts can be dropped off at the mall where the angels were adopted, or they can be delivered to the Salvation Army at 530 Mission 66.

In addition to the Angel adoptions, single toy donations are also encouraged, Torgerson said.

“We put those in our forgotten Angel pile, because some Angels may not have gotten much, so we add to it. And then there are some Angels who people pick up and then completely forget about, so we have to make up the Angel Tree gifts,” she said. “So both forms are very important, whether adopting the Angel or whether bringing forgotten toys.”

It is the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, Torgerson said, who “pretty much” runs the Angel Tree program.

“When we get the gifts from the mall or Salvation Army, we will take it to our distribution site,” she said.

There, the auxiliary makes sure the toys match up with the Angel tag, are age-appropriate and that there are enough gifts. Finally, the gifts are bagged and readied for pick up.

“My women’s auxiliary is absolutely amazing,” Torgerson said. “The Salvation Army runs on volunteers. It’s the lifeblood of the Salvation Army.”

Volunteers are welcome for both the Angel Tree and the Red Kettle Campaign.

For more information or to volunteer, call 601-456-4444.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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