PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Salvation Army in Punxsutawney is in need of much help, as it’s only a little over halfway to its goal of $50,000 in the final week of the Red Kettle Campaign.
Keith Jache, co-corp commander, said Punxsutawney is a very generous community, and the Salvation Army is confident that residents will help the organization meet its goal.
“Punxsy has always been a very generous community, and we thank them for all the help they’ve given us over the years,” he said.
Currently, the Salvation Army has raised $28,628.
“We have a goal of $50,000, and we need everyone’s help to meet it,” Jache said. “We’re very grateful to the merchants for allowing us to stand at their locations.
“This is our biggest fund-raiser of the year, and we appreciate their cooperation,” he said, adding that the Salvation Army offers various emergency services and programs to meet local residents’ needs, such as distributing food baskets to seniors and giving away toys to more than 200 kids.
“We still have families coming in this week to sign up for assistance, even though it’s almost Christmas,” he said. “With the kettles, I have to raise a little under $25,000 in one week, which is not impossible.
“It’s all done by generosity,” Jache said, adding that the closer the organization gets to Christmas, people will become more generous.
This past week, the Salvation Army had to help house a family in a hotel because the heat stopped working in the family’s home.
“Besides the toys and the food, people are calling for help because of the weather,” Jache said. “Electricity, heat and rental are just a few of the needs that we help people with.
“If we don’t meet our $50,000 goal, it’s going to be hard on people,” Jache said, adding that the economy continues to present some families who are in need of assistance for the first time in their lives.
“This year, more so than any, I actually have people who’ve come to the corps on behalf of others for assistance because they are still in that phase that they’ve never had to ask for help before, and they aren’t sure that they can,” Jache said. “The number of people requiring assistance has been growing over the last few years.
“We really need the town’s help to try and meet those needs,” he said. “The Punxsutawney area has come through for us every year, and we hope that trend continues.”
The kettles will be out through Friday at Wal-Mart, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Peebles, County Market and Comet Market.
Jache added that donations can also be mailed or dropped off at the Salvation Army, located at 229 West Mahoning St., Punxsutawney, Pa. 15767.
Anyone requiring more information about how to donate — or on the various programs the Salvation Army offers — can call 938-5530.