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Salvation Army struggles to meet goal

The head of the agency says this year's kettle drive is down $10,000 because of the loss of two kettle locations and the recent

The head of the agency says this year's kettle drive is down $10,000 because of the loss of two kettle locations and the recent

December 17, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

No one is more aware that there are just eight days until Christmas than Capt. Butch Mallard of the Salvation Army in Hagerstown.

"We are down about $10,000 this year and that's going to hurt long past Christmas," Mallard said Monday.

Two major locations for kettles dried up, then there was a snowstorm followed by a damaging ice storm that kept shoppers at home.

"We probably lost $5,000 because of those bad weather days," Mallard said.

Not all of the money that comes in during the kettle drive is spent at Christmas time, Mallard said.

"We use a good bit of that money into the winter months for home heating emergencies and other needs - this year we are going to be hurting." Mallard said.

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As the final weekend before Christmas looms, Mallard said his agency's volunteers will be out in force - ringing their bells and encouraging people to share with those less fortunate.

"On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, we will have special kettles set up at the theaters at the Valley Mall as well as at Sam's Club in the Valley Plaza and Wal-Mart in the Centre at Hagerstown," Mallard said.

Those locations are in addition to regular kettle sites at the Valley Mall's main entrance and food court, J.C. Penney, Sears, Hecht's, Kmart, Target, Michaels, Lowe's and Prime Outlets, Mallard said.

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

"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 qualified can pick up their food and toys Friday 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 between 75 and 100 meals each weekday.

"We also have 32 beds for people in need of housing," Mallard said.

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

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