Lock Haven Distributes Toys—Virtual Donations Still Needed

Dec 20, 2020

Officers and volunteers of The Salvation Army Lock Haven Corps safely distributed toys to 255 families in need on Dec. 15 and 18 at its headquarters in Lock Haven. 

Lock Haven, Pa. – Officers and volunteers of The Salvation Army Lock Haven Corps safely distributed toys to 255 families in need today, Dec. 18, and Dec. 15, at its headquarters. With the help of donations from the community, the corps purchased those toys to give to children in need for Christmas and are able to continue serving the community into the new year.

“Many people think we use Red Kettle donations just to buy children gifts,” said Capt. Holly Johnson, Corps Officer. “The reality is those funds also pay for our programming throughout the year. It’s year-round assistance.”

With the decline in Red Kettles and bell-ringing volunteers this year because of the pandemic, as well as in-person kettle donations being cut in half this year over last year, The Salvation Army has worried their funds will not be sufficient to serve the growing number of people who are struggling. However, thanks to innovative efforts like the virtual Red Kettle at pendel.salvationarmy.org, donors have still been able to support the cause thus far—even in a near blizzard.

“Our community was heavily impacted with 18 inches of snow,” said Captain Holly. “We only got 3 hours in of volunteering on Wednesday and couldn’t stand any kettles on Thursday. On top of that, we are down one kettle this year due to a store closing. So, the virtual donations definitely make an impact.”

In addition to pushing virtual kettle donations, The Salvation Army of Lock Haven has made other efforts to meet donors where they are, given current circumstances.

“We are currently $8,000 away from our goal of $40,000 in Red Kettle donations this year,” said Capt. Daniel Johnson, Corps Officer. “We lowered the goal from last year’s $50,000 because of the all the challenges we faced. We have seen the needs increase and we know not as many people are able to give this year because they’re struggling financially due to the impacts of COVID-19.”

Because of the virtual and in-person donations thus far, 290 children have received gifts, and 255 families have received Christmas boxes full of food. Enough toys have even been purchased for waitlisted clients, due to community members participating in Walmart’s Registry for Good and Toys for Tots, among other programs.

The needs don’t stop at Christmastime, however. Many struggling community members are still regularly looking for services such as rental assistance, heating and utility assistance, and emergency disaster relief. Most important, they are looking for food.

The Salvation Army Lock Haven Corps’ Pantry Program allows clients to receive a package of food once a month, operating as a drive-thru service. Clients can also sign up first-come, first-serve for its Free Food program twice a week, which is a partnership between the corps, Walmart, Sheetz and Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. The More Than Bread Express is the corps’ food delivery service where clients in several community locations receive three cooked meals delivered weekly to their homes.

The phones continue to ring for The Salvation Army Lock Haven Corps, which is counting on the community’s continued support through in-person and virtual Red Kettle donations to address the ongoing needs.

“We’re still getting calls and filling orders for families in need,” said Capt. Holly. “The needs are greater all around this year.”


Original Source: Northcenteralpa.com

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