BOZEMAN - You know it’s the holiday season when you see a red kettle bucket and the shiny silver bells outside of a grocery store, but there’s so much preparation to do for the Salvation Army before you even see the two.
"The next couple of months are the Salvation Army’s biggest time of the year,” explained Captian Amber Ohl, Corps Officer.
Captain Ohl just transferred to Bozeman 7 weeks ago.
“It was a little stressful knowing that I was coming to a position just before Christmas,” she said.
And while the different locations are all pretty unique, the Salvation Army’s core mission is the same.
“Our mission is to meet human needs without discrimination and to preach the gospel,” Ohl said.
What is the nonprofit is seeing regarding the need for families in Gallatin County ahead of the holiday season while we’re still in a pandemic?
“It’s going to take a while for our economy to recover from this, and so families are still seeking assistance from us,” Ohl replied.
Even before the pandemic, the Salvation Army was seeing challenges within the county.
There have always been issues of generational poverty,” she said.
Which doesn’t go away around the holidays.
“If you just have to pay your bills, Christmas ends up being extra, and if you’re a child you may not understand that," Ohl said. "You may not understand why your family isn’t able to purchase toys for Christmas and that’s where we can step in.”
On November 12th, you’ll start seeing the red kettles out, in addition to the popular Angel Tree campaign.
“What this will do is this will go to a company or our angel tree in the mall and people can come up and be like ‘oh but I want a girl so then we have a 7-year-old female Grace who she needs snow boots,” Ohl said.
There are so many volunteer opportunities this season. For more information, visit here.