The direct mail money goes toward supporting the food pantry, women and children's shelter and the feeding program throughout the first quarter of 2005, Mallard said.
While Salvation Army officials placed collection kettles in more than a dozen locations this year, there was concern that the loss of some key kettle locations might cut down on donations. But that didn't happen, he said.
Mallard said some stores that participated in the past have adopted sweeping "no solicitation" bans barring all nonprofits from seeking funds on their premises, citing liability and security concerns.
Kettles were staffed by volunteers, seasonal workers and some underemployed workers and clients served by the agency.
During the Christmas 2003 season, the kettle drive took in $91,593, exceeding the agency's goal of $80,000. With those funds, 849 families got food, clothing and toys for Christmas 2003. Gifts also went to 2,200 nursing home patients. Toiletries and other necessary hygiene items were delivered to 2,400 prison inmates.
In December 2004, more than 700 families received 1,650 stockings, 1,595 angel tree gifts, 695 bears for children, plus food for the holidays during the annual Christmas giveaway, Mallard said.
Based at 534 W. Franklin St., the Salvation Army serves approximately 100 meals each weekday and maintains 30 beds for people in need of housing, but the beds usually are filled.
Through a variety of programs, the Salvation Army helps approximately 40,000 people all year in Hagerstown, Smithsburg, Clear Spring, Hancock, Williamsport, Funkstown, Boonsboro, Sharpsburg and Leitersburg, Mallard said.