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Red Kettle Campaign exceeds its goal

The generosity of the people of Pike County knows no bounds.

Kim May, Troy Salvation Army Service Center director, said the goal that she had set for the 2008 Red Kettle campaign almost seemed unrealistic during these times of economic difficulty.

“I set the goal at $20,000 but I wasn’t sure that we would get even as much as we did in 2007,” she said. “Seventeen thousand dollars would have been very generous given the economic situation right now.”

But, never underestimate the giving spirit of Pike Countians, especially around Christmastime.

“As of Dec. 23, we have gone over our goal with $21,599,” May said. “I was surprised and very, very pleased. Even in hard times people are good-hearted and maybe even more so because we all realize that there are those whose situation is dire. This just shows that people do care about one another.”

May said the Salvation Army’s goal was reached and surpassed because of the generosity of individuals and because of the volunteer spirit of so many.

“In the past, we’ve had to pay bell ringers but we didn’t pay a single bell ringer this year and so everything that was given will be returned to the community through help to our friends and neighbors,” May said. “I want to thank everyone who rang the bell for the Salvation Army, and there were so many that I can’t begin to thank them all individually—churches, civic groups, school groups and individuals. And I also want to thank everyone who gave to the Red Kettle campaign and made it such a great success.”

The $21,000-plus will make it possible to assist more of the increasing number of requests for food and clothing made to the local Red Cross Service Center.

“We’ve seen a big increase in requests and the requests are coming from a wide range of people – the young, the working class and the elderly and the sick. It’s not just one group. So many people need help – people who are out of work and those who are working and just can’t make ends meet; the sick who need help with medication expenses; the elderly who need help with utility costs … The list goes on and on.”

But help has also come to the Salvation Army through the doors of the Thrift Shop on South Brundidge Street.

“We’ve seen an increase in sales, and I attribute that to the economy and also to the fact that we only put out nice items in the Thrift Shop,” May said. “Poor people don’t want garbage. People are beginning to realize that they can get good quality items at our shop and they are supporting it.”

The items that are brought in that are not put on the shelves are sold to a buyer for four cents a pound.