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Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Salvation Army nears goal of 1,300 gifts for kids
About 100 more than last year
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Salvation Army Corps Sgt. Major Thelma Bush carries a box of Christmas gifts for a family Thursday at the Salvation Army in Martinsville. Around her are some of the gifts for area families. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)

Friday, December 14, 2012

By PAUL COLLINS - Bulletin Staff Writer

“We’re going to make it,” Lt. Lisa Knotts of the local Salvation Army said Thursday.

Knotts was talking about the goal of providing Christmas gifts for about 1,300 children through the angel tree program, “maybe 100” more children than last year.

The children are from Henry, Patrick and Franklin counties and the city of Martinsville, with the majority in Henry County, she said.

A little more than 900 angels were taken by area residents. Although 378 angels were left on trees, they will be taken care of through gifts and donations from other individuals and organizations and some of the proceeds from the Red Kettle Drive, Knotts said.

Anyone who got an angel from a tree at Liberty Fair Mall or Kmart was asked to provide an unwrapped gift for a child by Thursday.

Knotts, commander of the Martinsville Corps of the Salvation Army, urges people who did not meet that deadline to bring in their angel tree gifts no later than Monday.

“This community has pulled together to brighten the lives of families.” Knotts said. “There are going to be very happy children on Christmas morning.”

“There should not be an unhappy child in the community” on Christmas, she added.

Every child in every family that requested Christmas assistance from the Salvation Army will receive at least three gifts, Knotts said, adding that no child was turned away.

“Gifts range from Barbie doll houses to clothing, to caps, gloves and socks; to remote-control cars; to baby dolls; to diapers,” she said.

The toys will be distributed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, she said. Also at that time, 500 food boxes will be distributed to families.

“We still need about 125 turkeys” for the food boxes, she said.

“Today (Thursday), the Long Beards donated 100 turkeys, and Pine Products gave a large donation ($800) to buy more turkeys,” Knotts said. She added that Rotary clubs are helping out as well.

In the Red Kettle Drive, $27,990.35 had been collected as of Monday. The goal is $48,000, she said.

“Keep dropping that change. Every penny helps,” Knotts urged.

When asked if she thinks the $48,000 goal will be met, Knotts said, “We’re going to be close. Volunteers (volunteer bell ringers) have really helped.”

There has been a 50 percent increase in volunteer bell ringers this year, she said, but more are needed. Having to hire bell ringers reduces the proceeds from the Red Kettle Drive.

“It would be great to have all volunteers the last week” of the Red Kettle Drive, Knotts said.

The drive will continue through Christmas Eve. Red kettles are at Walmart, Kmart, Liberty Fair Mall, Dollar General Market, Walgreens, Roses and Big Lots. Bell ringers man the kettle stations from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. To volunteer to be a bell ringer, call the Salvation Army at 638-7259.

“This community has been absolutely the most giving community I’ve seen,” Knotts said. “Being No. 1 in the state for unemployment, this community has been giving way beyond their capability. They keep on giving; they are so caring.”


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