Janesville Salvation Army raises holiday fundraising goal
The church-based charity has set an aggressive goal of $325,000 for the 2011 holiday season. That goal is $10,000 higher than the one set for 2010.
This year, “over half of the people coming for assistance are first-timers, which is reflective of the continuing economy and difficulties people are facing. So we anticipate that will translate into (need for) Christmas help as well,” said Maj. Bob Fay.
The Janesville Salvation Army offers these ways to help those in need who live in Janesville:
1. Volunteer to ring bells. Sign up for two-hours shifts between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. The Salvation Army has bell stands at 17 locations throughout the city, and ringing continues through 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve day. Money collected stays in the community to support Salvation Army programs such as noon meals and the food pantry.
Volunteer bell ringers must be at least 16 years old or be accompanied by an adult. To register, call (608) 757-8300 or sign up online at usc.salvationarmy.org/janesville.
“Bell ringing for many has become a family tradition that helps initiate children into the spirit of the season and giving back to the community,” Fay said.
2. Become an Angel Tree volunteer. Volunteers are needed for two-hours slots to assist those choosing tags from the tree. Each tag indicates a specific gift wishes from a child in need. Volunteers take in unwrapped gifts brought back to the Angel Tree location at center court in The Janesville Mall, 2500 Milton Ave. The process to volunteer is the same as signing up to be a bell ringer, Fay said.
3. Adopt a kettle, match a kettle, sponsor a kettle or create an online kettle. To Adopt-A-Kettle, organize co-workers to ring bells at one or more locations. Adopt a location for a day and a sign will be posted on that kettle stand acknowledging your company support.
Workplaces also can choose to match donations for a day, week, month or season (Nov. 18 through Dec. 24). For $500 a week, companies can sponsor one of the top five kettle sites in Janesville. Company sponsorship will be acknowledged with a sign posted on the kettle stand of choice. For $250 a week, companies can sponsor a kettle at one of the other sites in Janesville.
Online red kettles for individuals, teams or companies can be created at onlineredkettle.org.
4. Host a food and/or toy drive. The Salvation Army has invented a number of ways to conduct creative drives. For additional information and ideas, visit janesvillesa.org or call (608) 757-8300.
5. Adopt a Family. Organize family, friends, co-workers, church or community groups and “adopt” one or more families for Christmas. Adopted families receive food baskets for Christmas dinner, toys for children and gifts for parents.
“It’s a more extensive and personal way to help an individual family,’’ Fay said.
Twenty-one families in the community have been adopted, but more still are waiting. To help, call Anne Walli at (608) 757-8300.
6. Make a financial contribution. Mail or drop off donations at the Salvation Army, 514 Sutherland Ave., Janesville. Checks also can be dropped off in the kettles.
To get help
Christmas assistance now is available through the Janesville Salvation Army. Those in need can sign up between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. today or from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1, at the Salvation Army Community Center, 514 Sutherland Ave., Janesville.
Participants only can receive Christmas help from one agency or school. Those signing up at the Salvation Army cannot sign up anywhere else.
To apply, participants must present these items:
-- Photo identification
-- Social Security numbers for all members in the household
-- Current address verification with a recent piece of mail
-- Current income verification for all adults in the household. This includes food stamps, employment, unemployment, disability, W-2 payments, child support, etc.
-- A gift idea costing less than $30 for each child in the household.
-- Clothing and shoe sizes for all persons living in the household.