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Salvation Army seeks donations

November 19, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - Last year, Capt. Butch Mallard worried that the surge in charitable giving following the events of Sept. 11 would have a negative impact on traditional giving to agencies such as the Salvation Army.

Luckily that didn't happen.

But this year, Mallard is concerned that the flagging economy and the loss of several locations for kettle drives could spell trouble just when the need is on the rise.

"Just as an example, we have had 500 more children signed up this year for Christmas Angel Trees than last year," Mallard said.

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The goal is for each child to receive one gift - a new, unwrapped toy for a boy or girl between the ages of 2 and 13.

People in the community who are interested in brightening the holidays for a youngster can bring a toy or toys to the Salvation Army headquarters at 534 W. Franklin St.

The deadline is Dec. 15.

"Food and money are also very important this time of year but we hate to disappoint the children," Mallard said.

In Washington County, kettles are located this year at J.C. Penney, the Valley Mall main entrance, Sears, Sam's Club, Kmart, Hecht's, Target and two each at Wal-Mart and Prime Outlets, Mallard said.

Two other traditional sites are gone this year. Ames has closed and Giant Eagle (formerly County Market) isn't participating, Mallard said.

This year's kettle drive goal is $85,000, while the direct mail target is $140,000.

"We were a little over in our kettle drive last year but didn't quite make goal in the direct mail," Mallard said.

While the Salvation Army no longer receives funds from the United Way campaign, it did get $21,000 from the Washington County Gaming Commission earlier this fall.

As for the holiday efforts now under way, those who qualify will pick up their food and toys Dec. 20 at the old Routzahn's store in the north end of Long Meadow Shopping Center, Mallard said.

In addition to providing food baskets and toys at Christmas, the Salvation Army serves 75 to 100 meals each weekday.

"We also have 32 beds for people in need of housing," Mallard said. But he pointed out that beds are almost always filled because the need is high.

For more information on any of the Salvation Army programs, call 301-733-2440.

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