Diving For Christmas Toys Brings Help to a Family

A few weeks before Christmas, a City of Harrisonburg police officer found two boys going through items left outside The Salvation Army’s Family Store on East Washington Street. In talking with the boys, the officer learned that as their families were poor they feared that they would not receive any gifts on Christmas Day. The distraught boys were searching for toys and other items for themselves and for their siblings for Christmas.

When The Salvation Army learned of the situation, the police officer was informed that The Salvation Army would be pleased to help the families with gifts for their children along with food for their Christmas meal. As the names of the families and contact information were confidential and could not be provided to The Salvation Army, the police officer kindly agreed to communicate to both families the offer of assistance and The Salvation Army’s telephone number. Though the Christmas application period concluded months before, The Salvation Army wanted to help the two families with their needs.

With the officer’s encouragement, one of the families called for assistance. As for the other family, possibly unknown to their son, the family was already registered to receive assistance. The Salvation Army was pleased to meet with the parents of the family that called, complete an application, and then have the parents come to the Rockingham County Fairgrounds on distribution day to receive gifts for their children and food for their Christmas table.

Annually on behalf of a generous community, The Salvation Army is pleased to assist 700 to 850 Harrisonburg/Rockingham low-income families to have a joyous Christmas.

His Impact Lasts Well Beyond His Life

On December 8th, 1986 Broadway-Timberville Ruritan Richard Funkhouser hung a red kettle and rang the first bell for The Salvation Army at Whitmore’s Grocery Store in downtown Broadway. According to the records he collected $4.86.

Richard persevered. He marshaled the Broadway-Timberville Ruritans to adopt and organize the kettle each holiday season in the Broadway-Timberville area. That tradition continues today with the Ruritans organizing and coordinating the kettle each November and December at the Timberville Food Lion.

Over the years Richard remained committed and deeply involved until declining health called for him to pass the standard he proudly held high all those years to others in the Broadway-Timberville Ruritan Club. Though Richard passed away in August 2014, his legacy and work continues to have lasting impact.

Over the last 30 years, “Richard’s belling ringing total” has grown well beyond $4.86. During the 2014 holiday season alone, the Broadway-Timberville kettle raised $8,992. Coming into the 2015 holiday season, to date Richard’s kettle has raised just over $210,000.

The impact of Richard hanging that December day in 1986 continues to grow each July and holiday season. Thanks to the generosity of Broadway-Timberville community, the legacy of one man with a big heart continues to make a difference each year in the lives of hundreds of needy families.

WHSV-TV3 and Its Viewers Provide Food to the Homeless Shelter

Foodfortheshelter.com is a site where those who wish can support the homeless at The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter’s can do so through the purchase of on-line gift cards that are then used by shelter staff to purchase needed food supplies. Foodfortheshelter is a dedicated sight designed by WHSV-TV3 in partnership with the Red Front Grocery Store. The cards are produced by Red Front and given to the Harrisonburg Salvation Army.

Each month the shelter’s kitchen on Jefferson St receives a high volume of donated food which is used to support breakfast and dinner for 50 to 60 people each day. Some of this food is prepared food left over from a group event, or from a restaurant. Some of the food are perishable items that need to be used within two or three days. Whether the food is perishable or prepared food, it is not uncommon for there to be a gap the what is needed to complete the meal. The cards are often used to complete a meal as well as other gaps in the food supplies on hand.

“Tracey Jones and her staff at WHSV-TV3, and John Garber at Red Front are great partners. They are doing a wonderful thing for our shelter’s meal program. Thanks to their work and those who contribute in this manner we are able to round-out our meals more often than ever before. The gifts cards are helping us to enhance the nutritional value and the quality of our meals,” states Major Hank Harwell, The Corps Officer of the Harrisonburg Salvation Army.”

The Community Center of Hope is The Salvation Army 64-bed homeless shelter that houses families, single men, and single women. The shelter provides meals, laundry, and warm safe beds 365 nights a year. Funding for the shelter relies upon the generosity of the local community. No operational, capital or maintenance funding comes from state or federal funds.

Those who wish to purchase food for the shelter can go to foodfortheshelter.com.

Critical Need for Kettle Volunteers

With a kettle goal of $170,000 the Harrisonburg Salvation Army’s 2016 signature Red Kettle effort is now approaching a critical period what will determine the effort’s success. The Harrisonburg Corps’ kettle program is one of the few programs of its size in the nation that is fully staffed by volunteers. While most programs across the nation have a good per cent of their hours filled by volunteers, few programs have every hour over a seven week period filled by volunteers as does the local unit.

At the peak of the season The Salvation Army in Harrisonburg needs to have 815 volunteer hours covered each week over 18 locations. Over the seven week period the Harrisonburg Corps has over 4,800 hours needed to be staffed for volunteers. The Harrisonburg/Rockingham community that generously donates to the kettles, but without volunteers to staff the kettles, the depth of the community’s generosity cannot be realized.

With over 350 hours left to be filled by Christmas Eve, volunteers are badly needed by the Harrisonburg Salvation Army.

“Having 4,800 kettle hours graciously provided by our volunteers is amazing, particularly for a community of this size. The number of volunteers each doing a little speaks will for our community, its nature and quality. Our community has a deep love for their neighbors, particularly those who are going through great difficulties. They want to help and turn to our organization to be one of those vehicles of assistance. The Salvation Army cannot do what we do without a successful kettle season and our bell ringers,” observes Major Hank Harwell the Corps Officer of the Harrisonburg Salvation Army.

Those who volunteer span the spectrum of the community, from younger children standing at the kettle with their parents, to high school and college students, to senior citizens. “It warms my heart to see who is volunteering. We are grateful to each person, to each family, sports team, club, church and business who staffs our kettle,” says Major Harwell. “Each doing what they can combines to bring forth wonderful results. We are indebted to our volunteers for all that they are doing.”

Volunteers, both individuals and groups, willing to help are needed throughout the season. Currently The Salvation Army still has to fill over 1,950 hours over the remainder of the 2016 kettle season. Volunteers can volunteer by calling Dale at 434-4854, or by going to redkettlevolunteer.org.

“Thank you! You’ve Made Our Christmas.”

Tears appeared in Roger’s cheeks as a bike, two bags of toys and a box of food with a turkey were placed into Roger and Ellen’s trunk. With a trebling voice Roger explained to the two volunteers that two Christmases before he and his wife never thought they would need help from The Salvation Army. Roger mentioned that back then he managed a business on the edge of the county until it was sold it to a competitor, who shortly merged it with his own and dismissed most of the office and sales staff. Unable to find a new full-time job Roger took several low waged part-time jobs to keep food on the table. As the family’s income was not sufficient to keep up with their mortgage and car payments, their home and car was soon lost, as their debts grew.

Roger and Ellen turned to The Salvation Army for help. “My family has helped as much as they can with rent. I came here because I don’t want to go through another Christmas without gifts for my son and daughter,” he said quietly. “It’s been a tough sixteen months. Things are now looking up as I just got a good job, but we still can’t afford much for Christmas. Thank you! You’ve made our Christmas.”

Ellen too tried to express her gratitude to the volunteers. While all she could manage was a simple “thank you” her tears and stumbling thin voice spoke of the depth and meaning of those two simple words.

As they drove off one beaming volunteer turned to the other, “They made my Christmas. Helping families like them is what Christmas is about.”

Each year the Harrisonburg Salvation Army assists between 925 and 970 local families with toys of their children and food for their Christmas meal. Majors Hank and Eunice Harwell would like to thank this generous community for their support, for helping The Salvation Army to assist so many people this Christmas day.

Volunteer Bell Ringers Give Four and Half Thousand Hours Each Year

With a kettle goal of $170,000 the Harrisonburg Salvation Army’s 2016 signature Red Kettle effort is well underway. The Harrisonburg Corps’ kettle program is one of the few programs of its size in the nation that is fully staffed by volunteers. While most programs across the nation have a good per cent of their hours filled by volunteers few programs with over have every hour over a seven week period filled by volunteers as does the local unit.

At the peak of the season The Salvation Army in Harrisonburg needs to have 815 volunteer hours covered each week over 18 locations. Between the Thursday of the first full week November and December Eve, 4,800 hours of volunteering are typically given by people from the community.

“Having 4,800 kettle hours graciously provided by volunteers in a community of this size is amazing. It speaks volumes about our community, its nature and quality. This community has a deep love and concern for their neighbors, particularly those who are going through great difficulties. We cannot do what we do without a successful kettle season and our bell ringers,” observes Major Hank Harwell the Corps Officer of the Harrisonburg Salvation Army.

Those who volunteer span the spectrum of the community, from younger children standing at the kettle with their parents, to high school and college students, to senior citizens. “It warms my heart to see who is volunteering. We are grateful to each person, to each family, sports team, club, church and business who staffs our kettle,” says Major Harwell. “Each doing what they can combines to bring forth wonderful results. We are indebted to our volunteers for all that they are doing.”

Volunteers, both individuals and groups, willing to help are needed throughout the season. Currently The Salvation Army still has to fill over 1,950 hours over the remainder of the 2016 kettle season. Volunteers can volunteer by calling Dale at 434-4854, or by going to redkettlevolunteer.org.

Did You Know?

Did you know:
• In a typical year that 1,450 to 1,600 Harrisonburg/Rockingham County children receive toys and clothing at Christmas through The Salvation Army.
• The Salvation Army has a 54-bed homeless shelter that operates each day of year accommodating single men, single women and families.
• In a typical year 17,800 to 20,800 nights of lodgings are provided to people who are homeless.
• Thanks to the community that donates quality used coats The Salvation Army was able to distribute 292 winter coats to children and adults last winter.
• The Harrisonburg/Rockingham Salvation Army again this year anticipates distributing Thanksgiving baskets to over 2,000 people.
• Thanks to the volume of donated non-perishable food items, for $29 The Salvation Army is able to feed a family of five for three to four days.

Impact of Volunteering

Volunteers greatly extend the work of The Salvation Army, providing it with enhanced human and fiscal resources. In every area of service, selfless and dedicated men, women and young people are freely giving their time and talents to help others. Volunteers provide invaluable assistance in the office, with the food pantry, cooking and serving meals at the shelter, staffing kettles, organizing and running the Christmas distribution, aiding character building activities, providing music lessons for at-risk youth, responding to disasters, and much more. Volunteers enable The Salvation Army to serve far more people with a greater array of services than would be possible with its small staff.

In 2015, volunteers provided 13,763 hours of volunteer service. That number of hours equals more than 6 full-time positions and all those hours greatly extend the resources of The Salvation Army to assist more people than our current staff could assist on their own.

Why volunteer?
• Volunteers can provide direct service to clients.
• Volunteers show clients that someone outside the paid staff cares for them.
• Volunteers may have added credibility because they are unsalaried.
• Volunteers can focus on one task for a specified period of time or project.
• Volunteers extend the human resources of The Salvation Army enabling it to serve more people.
• Volunteers increase The Salvation Army’s access to the community.
• Volunteers promote a better understanding of Salvation Army service.
• Volunteers support special services and fundraisers by attending and bringing others.
• Volunteers supplement essential services with experience, knowledge and skills.
• Volunteers spark innovation. Historically, volunteers are pioneers in creating new services.
• Volunteers find service to others in a faith-based context to be an expression of their own faith.
• Volunteers can be legislative advocates, fundraisers, and public education agents.
• Volunteers can offer constructive criticism and give feedback for future planning.

If you would like more information or to volunteer, please contact Matt Vandenberg at 434-4854 or email him at Matthew.VanDenberg@uss.salvationarmy.org.

WHSV-TV3 and Its Viewers Provide Food to the Homeless Shelter

Foodfortheshelter.com is a site where those who wish can support the homeless at The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter’s can do so through the purchase of on-line gift cards that are then used by shelter staff to purchase needed food supplies. Foodfortheshelter is a dedicated sight designed by WHSV-TV3 in partnership with the Red Front Grocery Store. The cards are produced by Red Front and given to the Harrisonburg Salvation Army.

Each month the shelter’s kitchen on Jefferson St receives a high volume of donated food which is used to support breakfast and dinner for 50 to 60 people each day. Some of this food is prepared food left over from a group event, or from a restaurant. Some of the food are perishable items that need to be used within two or three days. Whether the food is perishable or prepared food, it is not uncommon for there to be a gap the what is needed to complete the meal. The cards are often used to complete a meal as well as other gaps in the food supplies on hand.

“Tracey Jones and her staff at WHSV-TV3, and John Garber at Red Front are great partners. They are doing a wonderful thing for our shelter’s meal program. Thanks to their work and those who contribute in this manner we are able to round-out our meals more often than ever before. The gifts cards are helping us to enhance the nutritional value and the quality of our meals,” states Major Hank Harwell, The Corps Officer of the Harrisonburg Salvation Army.”

The Community Center of Hope is The Salvation Army 64-bed homeless shelter that houses families, single men, and single women. The shelter provides meals, laundry, and warm safe beds 365 nights a year. Funding for the shelter relies upon the generosity of the local community. No operational, capital or maintenance funding comes from state or federal funds.

Applications Being Taken for Holiday Season Assistance

From October 3rd through October 7th Salvation Army volunteers and staff are receiving applications for Christmas assistance. The applications will be taken and processed each day from 9 A.M. through to 4 P.M., with extended hours to 5:30 P.M. on Thursday October 6th and Friday October 7th.

Parents are to present identification for themselves and their children through age twelve, proof of age for their children (birth certificate or Medicaid Card) along with a form of government issued identification for everyone in the household who will receive Christmas assistance. Such government issued identification may include passports, social security cards, birth certificates, licenses, etc.

Families receiving food stamps are to show proof that they are receiving food stamps. Families not on food stamps are to present proof of household income and monthly bills.
“We are looking forward to helping over 1,500 children this coming year. We ask that parents provide information regarding the clothing and shoe sizes for their children, along with at least two ideas of what is on each of their children’s wish list,” says Major Eunice Harwell. “The information helps guide those from our community who adopt our angels from The Salvation Army’s Angel Trees across the community. We want nothing less than to make this Christmas a joyous experience for each of the children and their families. The Salvation Army is grateful to everyone who supports our children by adopting an angel or volunteering at the distribution center.”

The Salvation Army is seeking churches, businesses and other groups to host an angel tree. “The more host sites we have, the more children this generous community is able to help,” says Major Eunice Harwell. Individuals and groups who wish to adopt an angel this Christmas may contact The Salvation Army by calling (540) 434-4854.

Those who wish to make a monetary gift to The Salvation Army may mail their gifts to PO Box 468 Ashby Ave, Harrisonburg VA 22803. Credit card gifts can be made either online at http://virginiasalvationarmy.org/harrisonburgva/, by clicking the “Donate Online” button or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.