Sullivan County Democrat
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Salvation Army
Finds Tough Year

By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO — November 4, 2003 – It looks like this time the saviors are looking for a helping hand.
The Salvation Army serves more than 2,000 Sullivan County residents a year. They hand out funds for prescription drugs and procure help for those who can’t heat their homes in the winter.
But requests for help are already pouring into the Monticello office at an extraordinary rate, and agency officials are scrambling to find money to meet the need.
The problem is simple, said Director Russell Bartholomew.
“We’re just looking for volunteers,” he said.
Most years the funding for the Salvation Army’s Sullivan County chapter comes in part from the community and in part from the national organization.
The greatest portion is collected during the holiday season when folks are more likely to open their hearts – and their wallets – to the sound of a bell ringer at a Salvation Army kettle.
But the agency has sent out requests for bell ringers far and wide.
So far they’ve come up with just two responses.
That’s not enough to raise money for the Thanksgiving dinner the group holds each November at the United Methodist Church on Broadway in Monticello. It isn’t enough for the toy drives or the goodie baskets that are generally given out to needy families.
And money is very tight for fuel assistance – 23 calls came in last week alone, and the program doesn’t even begin until November.
“They looked at the days last week with the snow, woke up and said, ‘We need heat,’” Bartholomew said.
Help is on the way, but Bartholomew doesn’t know how long that will last.
He’s looking for a helping hand from the community this year – in the form of volunteers.
“If I had volunteers, I could raise the money,” he said.
Folks who could man kettles, especially at local grocery stores and Wal-Mart, are encouraged to call the Salvation Army at 794-2268.

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