The Salvation Army is preparing to bring happiness and hope to families’ lives during this year’s holiday season.

Ongoing programs include the Angel Tree Christmas campaign; the Red Kettle campaign, which begins Nov. 14; and the acceptance of donations of new, unwrapped toys.

Everything from Barbie dolls to remote-controlled cars, along with bicycles, are among the most requested items on children’s Christmas lists this year.

The Salvation Army was formerly under the leadership of Captains Nic and Emily Arroqui, who relocated in June and are now at the Salvation Army’s headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Marie S. Harrison is the new director of the local Salvation Army office, which has relocated to 265 Stonewall Jackson Boulevard across from t…

Marie S. Harrison has taken over as director of the local office, which has also relocated from its former site at 813 Nottingham St. to 265 Stonewall Jackson Blvd. across from the Walmart Neighborhood Market.

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“I’m the permanent director, and I will be serving Orangeburg County, Calhoun County and Bamberg County. This is my first time with the Salvation Army. My background is fundraising. So I’ve worked with Claflin University, I’ve worked with Denmark Technical College, and I’ve also worked in the school system,” Harrison said, noting that she started working at the new office location on Aug. 1.

Registration for the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Christmas campaign officially ended Thursday, Oct. 31, but individuals can register at the office at 265 Stonewall Jackson Blvd. through Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Under the Angel Tree program, the first names of children, along with their ages and clothing sizes, are placed on trees throughout the area.

Children up to age 12 in Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun counties are served through the Angel Tree program.

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Individuals can call the Salvation Army office at 803-534-6805 to adopt an angel. They can also email Harrison at

Harrison said some businesses adopt angels and have their employees buy items for them and bring them back to the business. The Salvation Army stands ready to pick up items from businesses as necessary.

She said individuals can also make a monetary donation for “Santa’s helpers to shop for toys and clothes and help with a child’s specific needs.”

Donations can be made payable to The Salvation Army and mailed to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 958, Orangeburg, SC 29115.

All angels are expected to be turned into the Salvation Army office by Dec. 13. Angels will be readied for distribution by Dec. 16.

“We’re not going to turn away any gift. If you cannot make that deadline, please, if you have something that you would like to contribute, please bring it by the office unwrapped, and we will make sure that it is given to a child in need,” Harrison said.

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The Salvation Army’s hallmark Red Kettle campaign is gearing up to begin Nov. 14. Volunteers are needed to make it a success.

“In addition to our Angel Tree, we have the Red Kettle campaign. We will be out ringing our bells. … We’re also looking for donors that will help us with the toy drive for Angel Tree. We want to surpass what we did last year. I think we did 900 families last year,” Harrison said.

“I’m looking for volunteers and anyone that can come and help. If you want to help in the office and sorting out the gifts and getting it ready for the Angel Tree, or if you want to be out there ringing the bells, we could use your help,” she said.

She said individuals and businesses can sponsor a kettle for various reasons, including in memory or in honor of someone.

In addition to volunteers, the Salvation Army also hires people to ring bells during the season, with applications available at the Salvation Army office.

The Salvation Army is also accepting donated unused toys.

If someone needs a box for their business, they can contact the office. Businesses can get boxes delivered to them, or the Salvation Army can make arrangements to have boxes picked up, Harrison said.

The Salvation Army is requesting new and unwrapped toys, with any used toys to be sent to the Salvation Army’s Family Store.

The Salvation Army also has a need for canned goods to restock its pantry.

“If you have canned goods, nonperishable items, please drop them off. We have a deep freezer and a refrigerator here. So if you have some cold items that you want to donate, we will accept that, as well. We’re here from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday,” Harrison said, noting that while pop-top cans are preferred, they are not mandatory.

Participating in the Christmas-giving campaigns is not just work for Harrison.

“Spreading the love of Christ would be at the top of my list, … but I enjoy working with people, and I enjoy helping people. The Salvation Army has given me that platform, especially the ones that really need assistance. I love doing that,” she said.

For more information on how you can help the Salvation Army, call the office at 803-534-6805, stop by the Orangeburg site at 265 Stonewall Jackson Blvd. or email Harrison at

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5534. Follow “Good News with Gleaton” on Twitter at @DionneTandD

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