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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Salvation Army seeks funds, bell ringers
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Volunteer bell ringer Heather Loudermilk of Bassett collects donations at a red kettle outside Liberty Fair Mall on Saturday afternoon. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Monday, November 26, 2012

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

The local Salvation Army is coming up short in several areas: donations for a new heating system, donations for its red kettle campaign and volunteers to ring the bells.

Lt. Lisa Knotts, commander of the Martinsville Corps, said the corps is about $1,700 short of its $5,000 goal to raise half the money needed for a new heating system. More donations are needed, she said.

In October, she said the 35-year-old heating unit at the corps building on Memorial Boulevard had stopped working, and the corps didn’t have enough money in its operating budget to replace the system.

The Division Headquarters of The Salvation Army in Washington, D.C., offered a $5,000 matching grant toward replacing the heating system, and the local corps was asking the community to come up with the $5,000 match, Knotts said in October. She also said then that area heating specialists said repairing the heating system would cost almost as much as replacing it, estimated at around $10,000.

Knotts said Wednesday that the new heating system is being installed now.

About $3,300 has been raised toward the local $5,000 match. Any shortage will have to come from the Martinsville Corps’ operating budget, which will take money from the corps’ social service and other programs, Knotts said.

To make a donation for the heating system, make a check out to The Salvation Army and mail it to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 551, Martinsville, Va. 24114. Designate the money for “Heating System.”

Donations for the Salvation Army’s red kettle program also are off, according to Knotts. As of Tuesday night, $6,976.81 had been donated, compared with $20,659.40 for the same period last year — a difference of about $13,000, Knotts said.

But she is confident the $48,000 goal will be met.

“We’re not going to fall short. I’m believing in the Lord above,” she said. “This community has always come through.”

There also is a shortage of volunteer bell ringers. There are about 40 volunteer bell ringers now, Knotts said, but there were about 30 percent more last year.

Donations to the red kettle drive benefit Salvation Army programs all year long, not just at Christmas, she said.

Red kettles are at Walmart (its 50th year participating), Kmart, Liberty Fair Mall, Dollar General Market, Walgreens, Roses and Big Lots, she said.

Donations also may be made at Type in mhcysp (which stands for Martinsville-Henry County Yard Sale Page) or go to Martinsville, Knotts said.

Other projects include:

• Angel trees are at Liberty Fair Mall and Kmart. About 1,300 angels need to be taken. Anyone who gets an angel is asked to provide an unwrapped gift for a child (along with wrapping paper if you wish) by Dec. 13.

• The Walmart Fill the Truck will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 8. According to online information, new clothes, toys and stock stuffers will be collected.

• The Salvation Army gave out 42 food boxes to families for Thanksgiving.

Knotts said numerous churches and civic groups made donations.


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