By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
With bell ringers posted at select locations and kettles placed in area businesses, the Clinton Salvation Army began its fund-raising season Friday.
“Pennies, nickels, dimes, people tend to apologize, you know, ‘Sorry, this is all I can give.’ But we want to let the community know, that adds up,” Lt. Jeanette Jensen said. “And anything they can give us is going to help us serve the community better this year.”
While the Salvation Army did meet its goal this past year, Jensen said the need is increasing. She said that in the last year, the organization’s pantries served an average of 58 families a month. This year, the average increased to 115 families.
“We’re struggling to just meet the demands of hunger that Clinton has,” Jensen said.
The Salvation Army is setting this year’s goal at $55,000. Jensen said they really do need more than this to serve the community, but this will keep them afloat.
“We’re trying something different to get more volunteers,” Jensen said.
For the first year, a website is available to people sign up to volunteer as a bell ringer. People visiting http://usc.salvationarmy.org/clinton also can donate directly to the cause. Jensen said this could be used to get donations from those who do not carry cash on them.
“We’re hoping this has a huge impact on the amount we are able to raise,” Jensen said.
The Salvation Army will be handling its own toy collections this year. People can donate new, unwrapped toys directly at the Salvation Army during regular business hours. Jensen said she is grateful for everything Toys for Tots has done for them in the past.
Wal-Mart will be holding a couple programs for the Salvation Army. A “Fill the Truck” toy drive will be Dec. 13 to 15. The store will also provide an Angel Tree for the organization.
The Salvation Army is taking applications for its Christmas assistance until Nov. 29. For more information, call 242-4502.