The Bells begin their seasonal preparation in January, when they review all the totals from food, clothing and toys donated from the Christmas before. The Army must change to meet what needs present themselves in the community, Zach Bell said, so reviewing how the season came and went is imperative.
"The one thing that continually amazes me about this community is how it answers the call out for help," Zach Bell said.
He said after The Advocate's reminder to the public that 65 angels from the Angel Tree program were still out and not returned with a gift for the child last Friday, all those angels' gifts were returned by 3 p.m. that same day.
Over 1,000 kids will receive gifts
The Bells are preparing for tomorrow's big start on the distribution route, when 20 employees per day come in for the next two weeks to deliver the collected goods. Over 1,000 needy kids will receive at least three gifts each this season, and 700 turkeys will begin rolling in over the week for holiday meals for families.
"We also had 700 nursing home residents personally visited within the five counties (Boyle, Casey, Garrard, Mercer and Lincoln) and given a gift, and we're providing gifts for 1,500 prisoners at North Point, plus taking care of many of their families," Zach Bell said.
The Bells said the progress year after year is due to the community "getting to know the Army." Zach Bell said several have responded to their invitation to tour the facility, see what their donations are doing for others and get in on the spirit.
"To us, the spirit of Christmas is and always will be giving," Zach Bell said.
Danville Office Equipment matching donations
The Bells still have their fingers crossed that the Red Kettle effort will meet it goal, which pays for toys already purchased by the Army, food and additional services year-round. Danville Office Equipment will help the cause by matching 100 percent of the donations received in area kettles on Friday and Saturday, up to $5,000.
"Every business in Danville has come to our aid this season, by either donating, helping with the Angel Tree program, working the kettles. It truly shows the love this community has for one another," Zach Bell said.
"The spirit of giving is contagious, and Danville is a very giving place. I feel confident we'll meet our kettle drive goal this weekend because people here want to help others."
Kettle locations include: Wal-Marts in Danville, Harrodsburg and Stanford; Kmart in Danville; Dollar General in Lancaster; and IGA and Pamida in Liberty.