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Christmas kettle drives assist area Salvation Army agencies

January 15, 2002

Christmas kettle drives assist area Salvation Army agencies



By MARLO BARNHART
marlob@herald-mail.com


When Capt. Butch Mallard of the Salvation Army in Hagerstown got his Christmas wish in 2001, so did more than 4,500 people in the community.

Figures from the 2001 Christmas kettle fund drive were better than Mallard had hoped, especially in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, which many felt might dilute holiday charity giving.

The agency raised $82,000 in its 2001 Christmas kettle drive, a $14,000 increase over last year's receipts and $12,000 over this year's goal, Mallard said Sunday.

The direct mail campaign didn't fare as well. The goal was $140,000 and $89,000 was realized, he said.

Mallard said individual contributions have eased that shortfall.

Add to that the overage from the kettles, and it looks like the programs at the Salvation Army's 534 W. Franklin St. complex will be funded for the coming year.

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A 14-year veteran officer with the international relief organization, Mallard came to Hagerstown in mid-2001 with some fears about the first post-Sept. 11 fund drive.

He stressed that money raised locally helps local people. That message apparently was persuasive with shoppers who plunked in money in record amounts in the area.

- In West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, the Salvation Army's kettle drive started Nov. 16, and it was hoped it would raise at least $50,000, Capt. Raymond Pruitt said.

"Actually we took in more than $52,000 in our kettle drive for all three counties," said his wife, Major Crystal Pruitt.

It was the Pruitts' first fund drive at their new post in Martinsburg, so they were pleased that the kettle figures were up $15,000 from the year before.

"Our direct mail appeal was also very successful," she said. "We raised $68,000 - an increase of $23,000 from the previous year."

The Salvation Army office at 505 Virginia Ave. in Martinsburg oversees kettle drives in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties.

There is a food bank in Martinsburg, but no daily feeding program. This year, 1,540 people in the three counties were helped at Christmas.

"We have very good workers and dedicated volunteers," Crystal Pruitt said.

- The Salvation Army in Franklin County, Pa., kicked off its kettle drive on Nov. 8, and coordinator Bob Weagly said a "comfortable" increase over last year's total of $114,000 was raised.

Weagly said some people put substantial personal checks in the kettles, boosting the totals.

Each year, the money helps support the daily feeding program, thrift shop and food bank as well as case work with families.

- Capt. Andy Gilliam, who is in his first year heading up the Salvation Army in Frederick, Md., said that drive took in just over $30,000, short of its goal.

The Salvation Army at 223 W. 5th St. in Frederick will use the money from this year's campaign to support a weekday after-school feeding program for children, thrift shop, emergency assistance, a food bank, help with prescription needs and referrals.

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