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Cearfoss woman counts money for Salvation Army

December 12, 1998|By LAURA ERNDE

Even though her own family is financially strapped, Debi Nicholson has been a full-time volunteer at the Salvation Army this Christmas season.

Monday through Saturday, Nicholson leaves her house in Cearfoss at 3:30 p.m. She transports kettle workers and brings the red collection pots back to the Franklin Street office to count the money. Some nights, she doesn't get home until after midnight.

Yet she says she is privileged to serve the Salvation Army in Hagerstown, where she also goes to church.

"I just think it's a wonderful thing. There's so many volunteers. They're just so wonderful and so nice. They're always smiling," she said.

During the day, Nicholson, 35, home schools her 8-year-old son Richard II and takes care of her 2-year-old daughter, Evangeline.

Her husband, Richard, is between jobs right now. He has taken over her duties of cooking, cleaning and laundry.

Nicholson has been involved with the Salvation Army since her parents started taking her to church there as a little girl.

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She started wringing the bell for donations at age 14 in Fairfax, Va. Later, she completed Salvation Army officer training in Atlanta.

She left the organization to get married and have a family, but she never left the Salvation Army church.

She had her husband also run the summer youth camp and are involved with the Boy Scouts chapter.

When Maj. Robert Henderson asks for something, she is happy to oblige, she said.

While she and longtime volunteer Nettie Stine count the money, they pass on stories they heard from the kettle workers about that day's work.

They get a thrill when they find a big donation. Last week, someone gave eight $50 bills.

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