The Salvation Army to spread Christmas cheer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The Salvation Army to spread Christmas cheer

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News Release from the Salvation Army

(ALBANY, GA, FALL 2009)  - While many of us associate the Christmas season with warm thoughts of happy gatherings with family and friends, there are many whose holiday spirits are dulled by the harsh realities of simply making ends meet. 

The Salvation Army is making an extensive effort this holiday season to be a beacon of hope to those local families who desperately need a helping hand.

Traditionally, The Salvation Army's bell ringers in the greater Albany area at their red kettles, help generate significant local support for programs community-wide.  However, bell ringers continue to face restricted access in setting up their kettles. And The Salvation Army this year faces additional challenges.

Local donations are down due in large part to the state of the economy.  Home foreclosures have reached unprecedented levels, job losses continue to increase and prices for everyday essentials have been rising sharply.  

All of these factors contribute to an increase in the number of families seeking help from the Army during the Christmas season ... as well as an increase in the cost of providing that help.

"With uncertainty over the economy and increasing job losses, our income is just not enough to meet the ever-growing needs," says Captain Douglas McClure.  "But it is important to care now about our neighbors right here in the greater Albany area who face the prospects of a most difficult Christmas season, struggling even to meet their most basic necessities. I'm confident our faithful friends and those new supporters who see the need will share generously and won't let them down."

"The Salvation Army will provide food, clothing and emergency assistance to those in real need in our community at Christmastime, as we've done for over 100 years in America and over 90 years here in Albany.  Through our partnership with Toys for Tots, we'll find some toys for children who would otherwise go without too," vows Captain Douglas McClure.  "What's Christmas to a child without at least one special gift?  That would be really sad."

The Salvation Army will continue its dedication to doing the most good not only during the holiday season, but year round. Captain Douglas McClure adds, "Although our visibility is more heightened during the holidays, it is important for the community to know that The Salvation Army's programs are ongoing.  We're not just going to hand out a blanket and a cup of coffee to a needy person. We want to get them back on their feet and moving into a productive and fulfilling role in life.  Our motivation comes from faith in Jesus and at The Salvation Army we'll help them regain their hope and purpose by sharing the good news of God's love and offering support in any way we can."

For more information about Christmas programs and events planned by The Salvation Army, call (229) 435-1428.

About The Salvation Army in the Greater Albany area

            The Salvation Army in the greater Albany area, serving the communities of Dougherty, Worth, Turner, Terrell, Lee, Early, Baker and Calhoun provides food, toys and support services to more than 6,000 children and 1500 seniors with families during the holiday season. Throughout the year, The Salvation Army's many programs for the needy help an additional 1400 in Social Services and 1200 people in our emergency shelter.