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Kettles filled over holidays

January 10, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

When the Salvation Army bells stopped ringing in Hagerstown this Christmas season, it became apparent that shoppers had been very generous.

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"We exceeded our kettle goal by about 2 percent," said Major Robert Henderson. That translates into about $1,200 over the $60,000 that the agency hoped to collect.

The concern over vital income stemmed from this holiday season being the first that the Salvation Army was going without funding from the United Way campaign.

But that fear proved unfounded.

"We haven't got the final figures for the rest of our direct mail drive yet, but we're hoping we'll be similarly blessed," Henderson said. That goal is $120,000.

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In Martinsburg, W.Va., the kettle drive came in a little under goal, but Capt. Andrew Gilliam said he believes he knows why.

"We delayed starting our kettle drive for about six days this Christmas season," Gilliam said. The belief was that the public gets turned off when holiday fund drives starts too early, he said.

Even with the delay, Gilliam said most kettle locations reported doing well.

In Chambersburg, Pa., the kettle drive for the Salvation Army at 159 Lincoln Way West was headed by Bob Weagly.

"We didn't have a goal figure, but we took in $103,000," Weagly said. "That was more than last year."

The results of the mail campaign aren't known yet, he said.

Capt. Sam Hearne, who heads up the Salvation Army in Frederick, couldn't be reached to learn if the kettle drive with its $80,000 goal and the $230,000 mail campaign were successful there.

In Hagerstown, the extra funds collected may come in handy to offset the increases in the daily feeding program sponsored by the agency.

"We're serving more and more meals every year," Henderson said from the 534 W. Franklin St. headquarters.

The Salvation Army operation in Martinsburg doesn't have a daily soup kitchen, only a food bank, Gilliam said.

Chambersburg has a daily soup kitchen but no day-to-day food bank, Weagly said.

In addition to the Hagerstown Salvation Army, there is another daily feeding program in Hagerstown - at the Union Rescue Mission at 125 N. Prospect St.

"We started a soup line in the mid-1980s, then mostly for men," said Dorcas Black, a spokesman for the mission. "Now we serve 15 to 20 men, women and children seven days a week at 1 p.m."

Every Tuesday since the fall of 1996, Zion Reformed Church at 201 N. Potomac St. has operated a soup kitchen from 5:15 to 6 p.m.

"It's a mission project of our church," said Dave Schwartz, Zion consistory president, who added that volunteers keep the program alive.

Schwartz said 95 was the high number of participants but the average is 60 to 70, mostly adult men and women but a few babies every once in a while.

There are no questions asked when the hungry show up to eat, Schwartz said.

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