Don't neglect Salvation Army and local needs this season
There's some extra urgency and anxiety among the Salvation Army bell-ringers this year. They're concerned that Champaign County residents who have been so generous in their support and care for hurricane victims along the Gulf coast will cut back on their contributions to the local Salvation Army this year. Their concerns are probably not unfounded.
So the Salvation Army began its annual fundraising drive early this year and has added to the number of locations in the county (27) that will host bell-ringers. Major John Turner, who heads the local Salvation Army, said he is "cautiously optimistic" that county residents will match last year's outpouring of support – more than $300,000. (Last year's goal was $270,000).
"Much attention and a great deal of charitable dollars have been directed to disaster relief efforts in the Gulf states in the past few months and rightfully so. However, the need in local communities continues to grow also," he said. That includes support for emergency social services, disaster services, Christmas assistance, the operation of transitional housing for families and transitional and emergency shelter for men.
In addition to financial assistance, the Salvation Army needs volunteers to man the kettles and ring the bells outside stores. Call 373-7832 if your service club, group or family can help.