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Campbell column: Playing for charity

SALISBURY — It’s easy to walk past those red Salvation Army kettles that pop up outside stores after Thanksgiving.
The ringing bell can be irritating after a long day of shopping. And after spending money for Christmas presents, it’s tempting to feel like there simply isn’t another dime to spare.
That’s why Cassidy Nooner has rallied a group of West Rowan High School band members to play music at the Salvation Army kettle at 2 p.m. Saturday outside of Walmart.
“That little bell can get a little bit annoying,” she said. “We thought since the sound of music is appealing to just about everybody, we would get out there and play some Christmas songs.”
Nooner said she got the idea from her band director at Southeast Middle School, Devin DeBord.
“He’s done it before with his trombone and he said he collected a lot of money for the Salvation Army,” she said. “It made me want to get out there with my trumpet and help.”
Nooner could have done it alone, but she wanted to include her friends in hopes that more music would attract more people to give.
She’ll be joined by fellow West Rowan band members Grace Morris, clarinet; Jessica Ho, clarinet; Josh Doyle, saxophone; Brendon Palmer, saxophone; Alex Day, tuba; Savannah Morgan, flute; and Baylee Errante, flute. Her sister, Camryn Nooner, a sixth-grader at Southeast Middle, will also play the saxophone.
“We’re all going to be playing at the same time like a concert,” Nooner said.
The Salvation Army can use the money.
The organization helps more than 4.5 million people nationwide during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, according to its website.
Locally, the Salvation Army of Rowan County is hoping to help 700 families this year.
During the Christmas season, the Salvation Army offers families assistance with purchasing food, gifts and toys for children.
The group also provides help year-round with utility bills, rent, prescription medications, food and clothing.
“Since they are such an amazing group, I just kind of thought it would be awesome to help them,” Nooner said.
And the need is growing in Rowan County.
More than 21 percent of residents live in poverty; that’s up from about 11 percent in 2007.
Capt. Jason Smith, of the Salvation Army of Rowan County, said in a press release that has led to an increasing demand for services to the tune of 60 percent.
Maybe this Saturday we can all take the time to dig through our purses and sofas to find some spare change.
Whether you hear a ringing bell or musicians playing, let’s remember what those sounds represent, giving in a time where there are plenty of empty hands.
Sarah Campbell covers education for the Post.
Contact her at 704-797-7683.
Twitter: twitter.com/posteducation
Facebook: facebook.com/Sarah.SalisburyPost

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