Norwood Aikens recalls a childhood Christmas when everyone under the tree came from the Salvation Army.
"When I was very young, our father died when I was in fourth, fifth grade," he said. "Our mother, the only toys she gave us were from the Salvation Army … they gave us toys, clothes and food."
Years later, Aikens is pleased to return the favor. On Thursday afternoon, he was found standing outside Chick-fil-A in Golden Isles Plaza, ringing a bell next to one of the Salvation Army's red pots for the annual fundraising campaign.
"I love doing this," he said. "There are very nice people here, so you know the nicest people."
There are only a few days until this year's Red Kettle Campaign, which raises money to maintain Salvation Army human service programs throughout the year.  In 2016, the campaign raised $ 72,000 in Glynn County. This year, however, donations have dropped by $ 23,000, or about 32 percent.
The Salvation Army is encouraging the public to donate to the campaign before it ends in three days.
"The red pots are a symbol of giving and represent a tradition of care that is handed down from generation to generation," said Capt. Chris Powell, a Salvation Army corps officer. "We hope that last minute buyers remember their neighbors in need when they see a Salvation Army ringer in the community and are as generous as they can in helping."
Many people in the community are still recovering from the losses suffered during Hurricane Irma, he said, so there is a great need for support from the Salvation Army.
"The needs of our community this past year have been extraordinary and we want to make sure that we are able to continue helping, always," he said.
Powell said the community recently showed incredible generosity when the Salvation Army requested help after nearly 50 children were eliminated from their computer system due to a technical problem, leaving the agency without Christmas gifts. this year.
Within a few days, hundreds of donation donations arrived at the Salvation Army office.
"We are very grateful to the local citizens for their help earlier this week with our toy drive," said Powell. "The outpouring of support to help more than 50 children at the last minute was incredible, although we hate to call the community so soon after this last appeal, I am very concerned about the possible loss of income and how this will affect our ability to help those who are suffering. "
Boilers can be found in front of Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby, Winn Dixie stores and Chick-fil-A stores in Brunswick and St. Simons Island.
Donations may also be mailed to 1624 Reynolds Street, Brunswick, GA 31520.
Donors are requested to mention online and by phone that the gift is needed at the Salvation Army service center of the County of Brunswick-Glynn.