Clad in red trousers and a red apron sporting the Salvation Army logo, O'Mara was hard to miss with her bell and donation kettle, but it wasn't her attire people seemed to notice most. This year's kettle goal is $700,000. "To try to have enough bell ringers is always a struggle, and we always do better if they are volunteers", Capt. Denise Stewart said. "It's not the call we'd expect to get at night", or ever said Lt. Steve Pavlakis with the Salvation Army.
With the GPH donation, the holiday campaign total as of Thursday was $155,969.94, 67 percent of the goal.
The local nonprofit group, which covers Randolph, Taylor and Barbour counties, will continue collecting money until 7 p.m. Saturday at Walmart locations as well as area grocers - including six sites in Randolph County, one site in Philippi and three sites throughout Taylor County.
Pavlakis, who worked with the organization for 14 years, says he has not seen anything like this. When one gives, 83 cents on every dollar is used year-round to fund many social services programs, such as rental and utility assistance, food, clothing, sheltering, hot meals, Christmas assistance for families, after-school care and youth arts programs.
With many helping hands and after days of collecting, sorting, and organizing the Salvation Army carefully made sure gifts were given to the right families and no child was left behind. "We can't do this without volunteers, there is just no way", Stewart said.
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Online: www.salvationarmybr.org and click the DONATE button.
"They don't ask for themselves, but to give to others", O'Mara said.
"This donor, I believe, has dropped it at different locations, in different kettle sites, in our buckets", Hughes said.
"Some of our individual kettles have increased, from an individual kettle base from past year", Hughes said.