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Salvation Army Winter Fundraising Projects Begin

by on December 01, 2012 12:30 PM

With the holiday season in full swing, The Salvation Army of Centre County has launched three of its annual winter fundraising projects, and donations and volunteers are in high demand.

Salvation Army Capt. Chuck Neidermyer said the winter holidays are always a busy time of year for the organization.

“We’re all over the place trying to do too many things,” he said.

However, three main projects are at the forefront: Coats for Kids, the kettle drive and the Angel Tree.

Coats for Kids, which launched Nov. 9, is an annual campaign to collect coat donations for those in the community. More than 20 sites are set up collecting coats, Neidermyer said, and The Salvation Army has already distributed about 50 coats.

“It’s been a hard year for donations,” he said, noting that Salvation Army programs are filled up. “The demands have increased.”

The kettle drive, Neidermyer said, officially kicked off on Black Friday, Nov. 23. It makes up about one-third of The Salvation Army’s emergency assistance budget. The rest comes from individual and corporate donations.

The kettles are one of the largest fundraisers throughout the year, he said. Last year about $75,000 was collected from November to December.

“We would like to match that or even surpass it (this year),” Neidermyer said.

The kettle drive will go through Christmas Eve. Although only three kettles were out on Black Friday, there should be around eight by this weekend, Neidermyer said.

“That money stays right here in Centre County to help our neighbors,” he said.

The Angel Tree program, Neidermyer said, kicked off in October, and one tree each has been placed at both the Benner Pike and North Atherton Street Walmarts.

This year some 550 kids in Centre County qualify for the program, which helps provide Christmas gifts to families in need, Neidermyer said. Last year 598 children benefited from the program.

To see if they qualify, families must meet with a case manager, Neidermyer said. Once eligible to participate, they fill out a wish list of three toys and three articles of clothing. Tags with a code are placed onto Angel Trees at local stores and businesses, he said, with the main locations at Walmart. Shoppers can then see these tags and find a gift for the children.

About 50 percent of the families served by the Angel Tree program live outside of State College in places such as Phillipsburg, Centre Hall and Bellefonte, Neidermyer said.

“They’re all over the county,” he said.

Neidermyer said The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers for many of its holiday programs and projects. For a complete list of kettle locations, or to sign up to volunteer visit www.salvationarmystatecollege.org.



Staff Writer at The Centre County Gazette
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