"All the Angels of Hope should be driven by the people in need," he said.
Large monetary donations aren't the only way to become an angel. Bell said an angel is anyone who volunteers his or her time with The Salvation Army, or someone who picks a child to buy for off an Angel Tree that already can be found in several businesses.
An angel also is someone who drops some change in one of the red kettles accompanied by a ringing bell that will be found throughout communities starting the day after Thanksgiving.
"Every penny counts," Bell said.
Two Danville businesses creating incentive
Two Danville businesses are trying to create an incentive for the community by matching some donations certain weekends in December.
Symbiotix will match up to $2,500 in kettle donations accumulated during the weekends of Dec. 1-2 and Dec. 15-16, with the possibility of donating a total of $5,000.
Danville Office Equipment is doing the same thing during the weekends of Dec. 8-9 and Dec. 22-23.
Last year, Bell said the two companies only matched a weekend each.
"That's why I think we could meet (our goal) and exceed it," Bell said. "It shows the character of the community."
Angel Trees, which can be found in places like Wal-Mart and Kroger, are covered with rectangle-shaped tickets with a drawing of an angel and information about a local child in need. In most cases, the first name of the child will be on the ticket along with a code, his or her age, sex, clothing items needed and size, and a Christmas toy wish. Those children also will receive a stocking stuffed by local churches, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, and businesses.
Bell said some of the Christmas wish requests from the children may be difficult to fulfill, like many children's wishes this time of year, but "it's still their wish," he said.
Asked to have gifts by Dec. 8
All Angels of Hope who participate with the Angel Tree are asked to have the gifts for the children back to the location where they picked out a child by Dec. 8. The gifts should be unwrapped and have the child's code somewhere on the gift.
After Dec. 8, gifts should be dropped off at The Salvation Army on South Fourth Street. Wrapping paper will be provided to the parents of the children.
Sometimes, though, Bell said a child doesn't get chosen from the tree or is chosen and not bought for. That's why the Forgotten Angel Program was started three years ago. This program makes sure every child is taken care of for Christmas.
Also, children are added to the Angel Tree sometimes because of emergency situations that occur after the regular application deadline for the program, which is in October.
The kickoff for the Angels of Hope campaign will be 4:15 p.m. Thanksgiving Day during the Dallas Cowboys football game on Fox 56. Bell said Jerry Jones, owner of the Cowboys, is a huge advocate for Angels of Hope.
Expecting to help 1,500 people
Bell said 1,500 people are expected to receive help from the community's Angels of Hope and The Salvation Army this season in Boyle, Garrard, Mercer, Lincoln and Casey counties. They are real people from our communities who are in need. "This is why we need you to help," he said.
Gift distribution will start Dec. 18, and volunteers are still needed for bell ringing and other activities. Call (859) 236-4473 for more information on volunteering. "It takes an army, and we consider everyone in this community part of our ranks," Bell said.