By: Cheyann Peters
The holidays are the time of year when twinkly lights are strung everywhere, coats get thicker and the air begins to smell like peppermint, and off in the distance you can hear a faint ringing sound as you hustle down the street trying to get inside to where it is warm.
That ringing sound is made by people who brave the cold to give back to their community, and that is exactly what the Newnan High School student organization known as the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) was doing this holiday season.
Since the Salvation Army is a charity organization, it relies greatly on the kindness of others, anything from offering their time to donating some loose coins that may be floating around your pockets or from just doing some holiday shopping.
The FCCLA’s organization’s leader, Mrs. Menuett Bolling and the members of the FCCLA gathered together throughout early December in front of Goldens on the Square to ring the bell.
The Salvation Army is a great cause that receives much of its yearly attention during the winter months, where people can donate money to the iconic red pot in order to give back to those who are in need.
Last year a former student of Mrs. Bolling, who worked with the Salvation Army, came to her offering to connect the groups together giving them a very special opportunity, one that Mrs. Bolling and her students immediately took advantage of.
That was the first year of a new tradition for the group, and this year the new members decided that they too would like to participate in giving back.
“It’s important for students to participate in giving back to the community, and it is such a great thing for the community to see young people rendering a service and helping out,” Mrs. Bolling said.
And give back to the community it does.
Over eighty-five percent of all the money collected through the Salvation Army goes back into helping the local community.
Even though this service opportunity is largely only available during the Christmas season, Kris Carpenter, the Salvation Army representative, believes that it is good for the youth to give their time to help others who are in need.
“Knowing that it helps the local community and those in need is why I joined the Salvation Army” Carpenter, who has been a member since the beginning of October, commented.
Not only does the community benefit from this, but the students involved also gain a lot in return for their service.
“Even though it was cold outside, I believe it was an enlightening experience to be a part of a community project which gives back to families who are less fortunate than others,” Hailey Linch, NHS junior and member of the FCCLA, said.
In addition to standing side by side with her students and letting them know that she also thinks it is good to give back, Mrs. Bolling also described how one of her favorite things about ringing the bell is seeing the elderly and their grandchildren interacting with the students and giving back to the red pot.
The FCCLA is a student organization that is involved in a variety of community service projects in the local area, and they are looking forward to helping even more during 2017 as well as continuing to be apart of the bell ringing project next December.