January 17, 2014

Citizen of the Week: Jackie Hall

The Daily Citizen

— For years, Jackie Hall has volunteered with Dalton’s Salvation Army to help out at Christmastime.

This past Christmas season though, her doubled efforts touched hundreds of lives. The Shaw Industries employee headed up efforts to feed volunteers, secure borrowed computers to process applications for families who wanted to shop in the Christmas Store at the North Georgia Fairgrounds, and recruited sponsors to make the Christmas wish lists of 35 special needs volunteers a reality.

“She has a big heart for people,” said Pat Thompson of the Salvation Army. “It takes people with a heart like that to be able to do what we do.”

The Salvation Army offers several community services, including running a thrift store and donation center, assisting qualifying individuals who need help paying bills, providing food for those who need it and helping organize Whitfield County’s Sharing is Caring Community Christmas for families who complete parenting and self-help classes to be able to “shop” for free among a Christmas Store full of donated toys and clothes.

Thompson said the computers Hall supplied for the Christmas efforts helped the process run more smoothly as volunteers took in hundreds of applications and scheduled shopping appointments for participants. Every shopper was required to go through the store with a volunteer to assist them, and Hall and her mother prepared a “smorgasbord” to sustain them, Thompson said.

That included about 200 sandwiches, potato chips, homemade peanut brittle, banana nut bread and pineapple upside-down cakes. It was plenty, she said, to feed the 50-60 volunteers who were working that day.

The special needs volunteers receive Christmas presents every year, but usually they receive the gifts from Salvation Army workers, Thompson said. This year, Hall decided to “adopt out” the volunteers so that others could be a part of brightening their Christmas. Whatever was on their wish lists, Hall helped make sure they got it, Thompson said.

For her efforts to give others a happy Christmas, The Daily Citizen names Jackie Hall Citizen of the Week.