13 November 2015

From What's New Laporte

http://whatsnewlaporte.com/2015/11/09/help-the-laporte-community-help-its-own-by-ringing-a-bell-and-filling-a-kettle/

A message from Fran Milo, honorary chairperson of the LaPorte Salvation Army Kettle Drive:

It is a great honor to serve once again as the Salvation Army’s Kettle Drive honorary chairperson. We don’t have to look very far too see the “gaps” being filled by the wonderful projects and programs that are supported by all our donations, whether they be large or small. To be truthful, the programs sponsored by the Salvation Army are far more than I ever imagined.

If you’re like me, you’ve always known that the Salvation Army does a wonderful job with the community food pantry. But did you know the pantry supports some 400 families (or roughly 1,200 people) per month? Or perhaps we’ve known about the Backpack Program for weekend meals for school children in the LaPorte elementary schools (now numbering over 300 easy-to-prepare meals every weekend). These packs are given to children who might not otherwise have nutritious meals when they are at home over the weekend.

But the list of important project and services that are going on daily just keeps going. Last year, hundreds of food boxes were given out at Christmas, each including a turkey, ham or meat voucher for families or individuals who might not otherwise have a very merry Christmas dinner. The food boxes will once again go out this Christmas (thanks to your help with the kettle drive)! Does that make you want to put in an extra dollar or two in the kettle?

Then there’s the fact that the Salvation Army serves a free lunch 5 days a week (in collaboration with REAL Services) and operates a soup kitchen 4 nights per week that currently feeds over 500 individuals per month. People can walk in every day of the week to receive free bread , baked goods, fresh produce, pizza, and sometimes even chicken. Local businesses help with those food items.

YOU can help keep these gifts to the community in need going.

There’s the fact that the Salvation Army will help with an emergency temporary housing voucher, and will assist families in crisis in numerous ways, including utility bill assistance because no one wants a family to be cold. There are feeding and character-building programs for school children on Wednesday nights throughout the school year where kids get supper, and then are provided with activities in order to earn merit badges as they learn responsibility and how to give back to our great community. The Salvation Army also houses the program called First Step, a collaborative effort from a number of agencies and churches to provide assistance when families are struggling to pay rent and provide for other basic needs.

I am amazed at how many fantastic community services come from the Salvation Army and its partners. But they can’t do it without our help. So this Christmas season, as you are going to the store and you see and hear that kettle bell, might I ask you to think about just how important your donation is and how every dollar that you put in that kettle goes to helping others? Sadly, we have many people who are in need in our community. This is the season of giving, and what better gift can we give than the gift of assistance for so many programs to help children and families (our neighbors) in our own community?

May you be blessed many times over for your spirit of generosity! And if you would like the opportunity to help by ringing bell for a couple of hours at a local supermarket or business, please call the Salvation Army at 326-5342. Thank you, and Merry Christmas!

Fran Milo, honorary chairperson for the LaPorte Salvation Army Christmas Kettle Drive