HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The holidays can be tough for families struggling with financial hardships, but for people hoping to give back, there are lots of ways to help.

The Salvation Army in Huntsville is working to make Christmas a little brighter for families struggling to make ends meet.

They have two programs returning: the Red Kettle Bell-Ringers and the Angel Tree, the organization’s largest annual campaign.

“The Red Kettle program, the bell ringing, has been going on since 1891,” Maj. Richard Watts said. “So, it’s been around for a few years, and we’re excited about kicking it off again on November 16th at many of your local stores.”

They are now looking for volunteers (businesses, clubs, church groups or organizations) to be bell-ringers.

Money raised through the Red Kettle program feeds into the Angel Tree program. All the money raised stays in the community.

This year, the Angel Tree is helping Madison County families with children 14 and under, as well as seniors who are 65 and older.

The Salvation Army reported receiving record numbers for their Angel Tree online applications this year.

“I think last year we helped just a little over 400 families. So far this year, we’ve actually taken over 850 families,” Maj. Watts said. “That’s a tremendous increase, and then that translates to families. So, when you translate that into children and senior adults, we’re looking at somewhere in the area of 2,200 senior adults and children.”

The families who benefit are in Madison County. They provide proper documentation, so the Salvation Army can ensure it is helping the neediest families in the community.

Angel Tree tags will be on display throughout the community in various stores. If you’d like to help, you can take an angel from the tree, buy the toys and gifts for that child or family, and then return those gifts to the Salvation Army.

For more information on either program, call (256) 536-5576 or click here.

You can also click here to purchase a gift off the registry for the Angel Tree program. The gift will be delivered directly to the Salvation Army in Huntsville.