Susan McDaniel Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
It was an excellent year for the local Salvation Army. The Salvation Army offers Christmas help in three ways, both in direct help from the Salvation Army or through participation in two direct donation programs in the area. Those are the Adopt-A-Family and the Angel Tree programs. People applying for Christmas help are asked if they want to participate in those programs. Other families receive help through Salvation Army funds from monthly contributions and the Red Kettle campaign. “Between mail appeals and kettle drive we received a bit more than last year,” said Trina Crawford, of the Salvation Army Social Services office. There were 192 children under the age of 12 who received gifts from the Angel Tree and Adopt-A-Family programs. The Salvation Army gives organizations, churches and families the names of families that indicate they want to get help through the Adopt-A-Family program. Once a family is picked, the donor provides the family with food for Christmas and gifts for everyone. In the Angel Tree program, the Salvation Army puts names of children on trees in businesses around town. Shoppers can pick a name off the tree and can buy a gift for a child they select. The Salvation Army works with the North Havre Community Food Bank to prepare Christmas food baskets for families asking for assistance. This season the Salvation Army was able to provide 64 families with help in conjunction with the food bank. The kettle drive was a great success this year. Kettles were located at Gary & Leo’s IGA, Kmart, Holiday Village Shopping Center and the Atrium. There were 452 volunteer hours, by 34 different individuals who rang bells during the kettle drive. Groups that were represented include the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, St. Jude’s Catholic Church Youth Group, Van Orsdel United Methodist Church and the Kiwanis Club. Many individuals, including Salvation Army Advisory Board members and prominent public figures also took up bell ringing duties. Bonnie Bennett, who has been a volunteer for 26 years in a row, logged in 121 hours of bell ringing time this last season. “We really appreciate her willingness to continue helping us,” Crawford said. The Salvation Army relies mostly on direct donations throughout the year, especially responses from mailings. Proceeds from the Christmas kettle drive have to be stretched out to last the year as well. That money is supplemented by Assistance from the Havre Area Ministerial Association and the United Way of Hill County. In addition to providing emergency services, the office serves as a referral source for the food bank, but can only provide that service twice a year. Spiritual needs, such as prayer requests or visits from a pastor, are now being served through the Greater Havre Area Ministerial Association. John Chapman, pastor at First Baptist Church, monitors the requests that come into the Social Services office and distributes them among the other Association members. “I want to thank the community and volunteers, anyone who gave of time, money or gifts for Christmas programs,” Crawford said. “Without them our success would not have been possible.” Although the Christmas season was considered successful, continued help will be needed. More requests for help are being received than last year at this time. “Our need is rising, we have helped more people in December and January than this time last year,” Crawford said. Anyone wishing to offer help or assistance can call the Salvation Army Social Services office at 265-6411.