Audio: Christmas assistance applications open beginning October 16th, volunteer bell ringers needed

Salvation Army Seasonal Assistance
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The Salvation Army in Chillicothe will accept applications for Christmas assistance from October 16th through November 3rd. The office serves residents of Livingston and Grundy counties.

Families with children 15 years old and younger will receive a food basket and two gifts for each child. Salvation Army Office Manager Coleta McWilliams says one of the gifts should be something a child would want to find under the Christmas tree, while the other gift should be something a parent believes the child needs.



Salvation Army Director Lynda Snuffer states that the gift requests will be written on tags and placed on Angel Trees. Trees in Chillicothe will be located at Walmart, The Worx beauty salon, Chillicothe State Bank, and the prison. Other trees will be in Trenton at Southern Bank and BTC Bank. The trees will be set up in mid-November.

Snuffer is seeking one or two additional locations in Trenton for Angel Trees.



Depending on the business, Snuffer mentions that items could be returned there. The Salvation Army could also collect items, or they could be delivered to the office in Chillicothe.

She adds that a church could also sponsor or host a tree.

Families without children will receive a food basket for a Christmas dinner. Snuffer points out that the basket size depends on the number of family members.

Individuals who have applied for Christmas assistance in the past must reapply.

Snuffer explains that the information the Salvation Army requires includes household members, income, and expenses.



The Salvation Army also needs addresses and phone numbers from applicants.

The office will inform applicants about their acceptance status and provide details on when and where to collect items during the application process.

Although the Salvation Army office won’t start accepting Christmas assistance applications until next month, Snuffer advises residents to call now to book an appointment to apply between October 16th and November 3rd.

Residents of Livingston and Grundy counties can apply in person at the Salvation Army located at 621 West Mohawk in Chillicothe or over the phone. To apply or for more details on Angel Trees, call the office at 660-646-3538.

The Salvation Army of Chillicothe will conduct its annual bell ringing in Livingston and Grundy counties from mid-November until Christmas Eve Day at 12 p.m. Bell ringers will be stationed at the Hy-Vee in Trenton and at the Walmart and Hy-Vee in Chillicothe.

Office Manager Coleta McWilliams encourages churches, groups of friends, individuals, and families to volunteer as bell ringers.

Director Lynda Snuffer mentions that volunteers typically work in two-hour shifts, with groups alternating during that period.

She recalls that a group of friends from Livingston County would call on Mondays or Fridays to inquire about available slots for bell ringing in the upcoming week. The group would then fill in the gaps.



Snuffer emphasizes that the Salvation Army’s annual budget is sourced from bell ringing and sustains the organization throughout the year.

This year, the bell ringing fundraising target is $35,000.

Snuffer recognizes that some smaller businesses might want to participate in bell ringing but lack the necessary manpower.

This year, the Salvation Army introduced a “matching kettles” initiative where businesses or individuals can match a kettle’s donations at a designated location, date, and time. They can also contribute more than the matched amount.

Items will be collected in red bins at Walmart, Hy-Vee, and World Finance in Chillicothe to support the Salvation Army’s food pantry and the Christmas food program.

In November, World Finance will match the contents of its red bin with an equivalent amount of food.

Residents can register to volunteer for bell ringing individually or in groups at By entering their zip code, they can view bell ringing locations in their vicinity.

Residents can also sign up to volunteer by calling the Salvation Army of Chillicothe at 660-646-3538. For more information on matching kettles or red bins, the office should be contacted.

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