Released 5 January 2011
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As I celebrate the New Year with all its possibilities, I look back over the last year and I feel very blessed. It is inspiring to see how residents of our community came together to meet the needs of neighbors even while facing cutbacks and lean times themselves. Truly these gifts were given in the Spirit of Christmas.
We were blessed to be able to accept 673 into the Angel Tree program across our service area this year. Angels were adopted from the trees at Wal-Mart, Kmart, Alleghany Regional Hospital, Dabney Lancaster Community College, and Jackson River Technical College, and the Covington Paper Union.
We realize this is was tough season, and every dollar that people gave is a dollar they wouldn't have for their own needs. We saw a great deal of "getting back to the essentials" with the Angel Tree this year. Extravagant gifts were few and far between having been replaced with much needed staples like school clothing, new coats and shoes. However, there were several bikes, and favorites in the categories of Dora, Justin Bieber, and transformers!
We kept the volunteers busy distributing over 2,600 brand new toys to children and over 2,506 articles of clothing. We knew it would be a tough year for the program and it was confirmed when 32% of the Angels went un-adopted in the Rockbridge area this year. Alleghany fared far better with only 11% going un-adopted. Great job! Thankfully, donations in the Red Kettles made it possible to supply new toys for those who did not get adopted. Families received 199 grocery boxes this year complete with a turkey or ham Christmas meal.
In addition to toys and clothing we were able to help families who were in danger of losing vital utilities because they have had to juggle paying their bills with buying food. Not only do we help with groceries but we offer assistance with their utilities if they are in danger of being without heat, electricity or water. For 41 families, The Salvation Army crisis assistance program prevented vital utility cutoffs by helping them to catch up.
Our thanks go out to the bell ringers who make all this possible! The main fundraiser during the season is the Red Kettles. The Red Kettles Campaign raised an impressive
4H, Advisory Board of The Salvation Army, AHS FCCLA, Alleghany Free Clinic, Allen Leachy, Anna Raether, April Pettitt, Ashwood United Methodist Church, Black Heritage Club, Bobby Downey, Bobby McKenzie, Boiling Springs Ruritan, Busy Workers, Callahan Ruritan, Character Counts, Charlene Downey, Cheryl Dorcas, Christian Carter, CHS Students for Christ, Clifton Forge Women's Group, Clint Collins, CMA, Concerned Christian Church, Constance, Covington Dialysis, Covington Jr. Women's Club, Covington Woman's Club, CubScout Pack 26, Davita Dialysis, Debbie Woodzell, Earl Johnston, Falling Springs Church, Covington Fire & Rescue Squad, Gospel Tabernacle Church, Granberry Witness Community, Health Occupation Students of America Jr., Health Occupation Students of America Sr., Hoke Chapel, J.B., Jake Adkins, JRTC FBLA, Junior Hartless, Junior Johnston, Key Club, Kiwanis, Life Skills Center, LLM, Mayme Smith, MeadWestvaco, Megan McMillion, Ministerial Associaton, Mount Carmel UMC, Mount Pleasant Youth, Pine Street Baptist Church, Pinnell Chapel, Ruriteen, Salvation Army Corps, Alleghany County Sheriffs Office, Shirley Parker, Students for Christ, Temple Baptist, Teresa Grant, Tiffany Reynolds, Tuesday Morning Prayer Group, VA Tech Alumni, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Vicky Sorrell, Whitney, Taina & Vanda, a many others whose names I may have missed.
A special thank you to Wal-Mart and Kmart for supporting the Angel Tree program, to Mr. Rooklin for donating the perfect building for the Toy Shop, area churches for partnering with us, to my wonderful staff, to all the volunteers and donors who made it possible to help the individuals with food, clothing, gifts or most importantly a touch of Joy during this Christmas season.
Thanks to the generosity of those communities we were able to serve 496 family cases for Christmas Assistance, touching the lives of 1,378 individuals.
Serving "the least of these" continues to be an incredible blessing to all of us at The Salvation Army. Thank you and God bless you!
Captains Karl & Janice Dahlin & the staff at The Salvation Army