Local Salvation Army seeks donations

It could happen to anyone.

A reduction of hours on the job which means a smaller paycheck.

Medical bills.

Unforeseeable expenses that the family budget just can't cover.

There are several resources families can turn to including the Salvation Army, right here in Marion County.

Stephen Humber of Hillsboro is the unit treasurer of the local chapter.

"Every year Marion County is allotted a certain amount of money based, I believe, on need and population," he said.

The adds up to less than $1,000 per year for the entire county.

"That amount is usually gone before spring and is used to help people pay their winter utility bills," Humber said.

Fortunately, the organization is allowed to raise money in addition to the annual allotment with the counter kettles.

We've all seen them. The bright red kettles, just like the larger ones in the cities, that set on restaurant and retail store counters. People drop coins and bills in them.

Humber said he also received money from Communities in Schools of Marion County and donations were solicited through a newspaper insert, similar to the one in today's edition.

Those efforts brought an additional $1,200, doubling the annual allotment.

Subscribers can assist the much-needed program by sending a donation in the envelope provided in this edition.

"Nineteen families have been helped, averaging $105 per family," treasurer Humber said.

Unfortunately, the 2008 budget for the local Salvation Army is gone. And it's only June! The only assistance that can be provided to local families through the Salvation Army will be from money raised through this insert campaign.

Other entities in the area — Main Street Ministries, Marion County Emergency Food Bank, CIS, SRS, local ministerial alliances, and others — help meet the needs of families in the county but with no Salvation Army funds remaining, it puts a strain on the other entities, Humber said.

"We are really hoping for another generous response from county residents," he said. "They are a big-hearted bunch when it comes to helping those in need."

How to help

Inside this newspaper is an envelope. Put a check in the envelope and send.

If there isn't an envelope in the newspaper, contact Humber at (620) 947-2338 or pick up an envelope at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church, 610 S. Main, Hillsboro. All donations are tax deductible.

Most families are referred to Humber through other agencies. For example, someone may be at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Newton and request assistance.

"Assistance comes through the county where the person lives so a referral would be made to Marion County from the Harvey County unit," Humber said. "This helps local units be aware of needs in their communities and connects families with other local resources that might be helpful."

If someone is in need of assistance, call Humber at the church number listed above.