Shenandoah County Salvation Army Down Money, Volunteers
Posted: December 13, 2012
The Salvation Army in Shenandoah County is down this year in donations and bell ringers, organizers say.
The nonprofit charitable group has raised only about half this year’s Christmas campaign goal of $18,000.
“This, of course, is our big time of year,” said Dick Cooley, chapter treasurer for the Shenandoah County unit of the Salvation Army. “This is the only fundraising we have.”
Bell ringers take up their posts each weekend from Thanksgiving until Christmas. Usually, between 75 and 80 volunteers come out each year as part of the campaign.
But Cooley said more bell ringers were needed this year because the span between the two holidays includes one more weekend than it did in 2011.
Volunteers have set up this holiday at the Walmart in Woodstock, the Save-a-Lot in Mount Jackson and the Food Lion in Strasburg. At this time, no bell ringers are stationed at any other locations in the county.
“There’s a reason for that. We don’t have anyone that rings in New Market [because] we don’t have a location or business that will give us enough revenue to justify putting a person there,” Cooley said.
The best area, he said, is at the Walmart.
But, even if a bell ringer is nowhere to be seen, Cooley said would-be donors can mail their contributions straight to the Salvation Army. Larger donations, such as those from businesses and churches, usually come in that way as well.
“The largest donation that you get out of a bucket is about a $20 check. Mainly they are cash,” he said.
Still, the smaller donations add up — and every little bit helps. And it certainly doesn’t make the time given by the volunteers any less valuable, Cooley said.
“It is an experience to ring. It will open your eyes,” he said. “Ringers serve sort of as a reminder [to donate] and there are those people who don’t give much, but then there are those that will give their last dollar. It just breaks your heart.”
Ninety percent of donations to the Shenandoah County Salvation Army go to county residents in need, with the rest sent to the state organization.
The money goes toward helping those faced with unexpected costs after an emergency, or toward utility bills or groceries, Cooley said.
Want To Help?
Donations to the Salvation Army’s Shenandoah County chapter may be sent to: The Salvation Army, Attn: Treasurer Richard E. Cooley, 617 Kestrel Court, Woodstock VA 22664.
Contact Kaitlin Mayhew at 574-6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org