SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – One of the oldest traditions of giving back this time of year is the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.

“I think it’s important to recognize the history of the Salvation Army in Shreveport, 117 years of service,” shared Captain Jamaal Ellis, commander of The Salvation Army Shreveport.

A whole lot has changed in more than a century. Not only have the gifts changed, so have the methods of giving. The iconic red kettle is still around, but many people are now going cashless.

“‘We have a QR code on the actual stand themselves. and we also have an online kettle called,” explained Julie Searing, Development Director, Salvation Army.

“So just trying to give people as many options as possible; your Paypal, your Venmo, your Google Pay, all those things,” said Ellis. “We’re trying to keep up with the times at The Salvation Army.”

The organization’s budget for next year is based on the money raised during the Red Kettle Campaign.

“All of the people that we house, all of the meals that we serve, the kiddos that we help through the Boys and Girls Club; all of that is because of what we’re able to do during the kettle season,” Ellis shared.

With those donations, they can help veterans like Theodore George get back on their feet after becoming disabled.

“Being with The Salvation Army helped me recover, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically,” shared George. “It made me the man that you see.”

Those success stories are what motivate Mary Edwards to donate her time to the Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary.

“When you can help someone else and support them that it helps you,” Edwards said. “It helps your heart. It gives your heart a smile.”

You can help make a difference in your community by joining NBC 6 for ‘6 Hours of Caring’ on Monday, December 14th from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

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