UPDATE: The Salvation Army opened its doors for the first time this year due to the cold weather.

A.J. Patterson is a homeless volunteer who says the generosity of The Salvation Army has kept him going through tough times.

"I know the angel tree and blessed the Lord they got the red kettle. You know, because if they didn't have that, a lot of people wouldn't get feed or things wouldn't go on as we speak,” Patterson said.

They provided warm blankets and food. Patterson, himself, was handing out coffee to people walking in.

A love Patterson learned from the Salvation Army.

"They help so many. They get blessed and are able to open an overnight shelter when the kitchen can't. So that's a blessing,” Patterson said.

Patterson said the work they do makes him proud to be a part of the organization.

Major Mark Smith has been a part of The Salvation Army for years.

He said his doors are always open, but it breaks his heart to see this many people coming in.

"It's sad that on a day like this people have to find a place to stay. We are in the wealthiest country in the world and people have to find a place to stay that's wrong,” Smith said.

Smith said there isn't a budget for this event since it isn't a regular event.

He said his staff will always help the people who need it.

"We are glad the public supports us, that God supports us, that we can stand here and be a place where people can come to,” Smith said.
           
Monetary donations can be made online at csarmy.org.

Food, blankets and shoes can be taken to 822 McCallie Avenue.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Salvation Army will open its cold weather shelter on Saturday night.

The shelter is located in the 800 block of McCallie Avenue and will open at 6:00 pm.

The Salvation Army is in need of blankets, donations and volunteers to help with the shelter as it is not part of their budget.

"Gently used blankets are desperately needed and can be dropped off at 800 McCallie Avenue," a spokesperson for The Salvation Army said.

For more information about making a donation, visit their website.