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Salvation Army supporters top

’98 donations by $3,000

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

Sometimes it’s necessary to say "thank you" and "please" in the same breath.

Cindy Duke, Salvation Army regional director, has now found herself in that situation.

After a very successful bell ringing campaign in Pike County during the Christmas holidays, Duke is very grateful for the generosity of the people of this area and, especially, grateful for the bell ringers who manned the red kettles in all kinds of weather, day and night.

"You’ve heard the old saying, ‘Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor gloom of night shall delay the carrier from making his appointed rounds,’"Duke said. "Although this is the official slogan of the United States Postal Service, it also rings true of the Pike County Salvation Army’s volunteers – the bell ringers. Nothing kept our 1999 group of bell ringers from achieving their goal."

The Pike County red kettle campaign raised more than $18,000 topping the 1998 donations by $3,000.

"The efforts of the bell ringers were very much appreciated and will never be forgotten," Duke said. "The money the bell ringers collected will benefit all of Pike County. Many people will stand to gain from their efforts. And we owe a great debt of gratitude to those who gave so generously. Without their donations, we just wouldn’t be able to provide the scope of services we do."

Those services included assistance with gas and electric bills, especially at this time of year, Duke said.

"This year, we have had so many more requests than usual. The generous outpouring of the people of our area have made is possible for us to meet more of these requests."

Duke said the reason requests for assistance are up this year is because of the high incidence of flu and pneumonia.

"When people can’t work and they just need this extra help," she said. "We have also had so many transients this year. It just breaks my heart."

Because of the great need, the Salvation Army Service Center has depleted much of its stock.

"We have completely run out of blankets, so we need blankets andother bedding, clothing of all kinds, especially coats, household item and furniture," Duke said. "So , while we are so thankful for the support we have received, we must still ask for more assistance to continue meeting the needs in our county."

Duke said large items will be picked up by the Salvation Army simply by calling the service center at 807-0200.

"Of course, we ask that appliances be in working condition," she said. "We don’t repair items so we ask that everyone keep that in mind when donating items."

The Salvation Army Service Center is located at 70 Court Square in Troy and items may also be brought there.

"Our service center offers a variety of items at very reasonable prices," Duke said. "And, we invite the public to visit the center for some very good values."