November 12, 2013
Kettle donations help families
Capt. Dorothy Budd said a family that supplied Christmas toys to children in need three years ago found themselves needing help this year, and signed up at the Salvation Army for its Christmas program.
“It was so sad to see their faces. I know they are struggling, but it was good that they had a place to come for help,” she said.
Budd and her husband, Shane, head up the Salvation Army at 138 Main St., Cortland, which provides a soup kitchen, food pantry and children’s programming to families in need. It also supplies clothing to transients and domestic abuse survivors.
But at Christmas time, it steps in to provide kids in need with toys, a special meal for the family and clothing, while supplies last, for the children.
The Salvation Army kicked off its Red Kettle Campaign Monday, where people staff a kettle and shake a bell and their friends and neighbors voluntarily put money in the kettle. The Salvation Army is looking to collect $60,000 this year, with funds going to its Christmas program and operating funds for the year.
“We tried to do $56,000 last year. We got it,” said Shane Budd.
In fact, the agency received $60,500 in donations.
“I think it’s attainable. We live in a generous community,” said Budd.
“We do our best with what we are given,” said Dorothy Budd. “We try to help as many people as we can with the money we get.”
In the case of the working family needing help, both parents were laid off from their posts. Dorothy Budd said that just last week, the father found a job. “They are excited. They have a little ways to be on their feet,” she said. “That’s what we try to do, provided help and let people know they are not alone.”
Last year, the Salvation Army helped 600 people through the Christmas program.
It served 83,000 meals a year through its soup kitchen and food pantry. Once a month, it facilitates a fresh food giveaway with food donated by the CNY Food Bank. And three hundred children access its youth programs. It just reached an all time high, serving 105 children at its Wednesday Salvation Army Youth Program, where kids get a meal, home work help from a college student, exercise and a music lesson.
Richard Benjamin of McGraw, a musician in How’s the Soup and father of three with his wife, helped out a Music on Main Street benefit for the Salvation Army in the past. He said he likes the Salvation Army because it helps people with basics like food and clothing.
“I support that. More people need that than we think,” he said.
Budd is hoping for willing people to take part in the angel tree program.
“That helps a lot of children,” she said. “We serve all of Cortland County, not just Cortland,” she said.
Tags with sex and age of the child and a few of their wish list items are listed and people pluck a tag and provide for the child. Budd said two companies, Marietta Corp. and WendCentral, both in Cortland, will provide for 100 children through their employees alone. The general public can get involved at the following businesses: Cortland Water Department, DFM Salon, First Niagara Bank, MBT Bank, Perkins restaurant, Pure & Simple Yoga, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Tops and Wal-Mart.
Kettles wiill be staffed every day until Dec. 24, except for Sunday and Thanksgiving. “We’re out there 10 to 8,” Shane Budd said. There are eight locales: Wal-Mart, Kmart, Price Chopper, Big Lots, Tops and Walgreens in Cortlandville, P&C Fresh in Cortland, and Nice & Easy in Tully.
The Salvation Army will hire a few people to ring the bell, when volunteers can’t be found. “The idea is to run all volunteer, but that’s not possible, so we hire workers,” he said.
People can call 607-753-9363 to sign up to ring bells. “Saturdays get filled up pretty quickly,” Shane Budd said.
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