Please consider The Salvation Army in your year-end contributions for tax-deductions.
"For me, it really started in 2005 when I went down to Louisiana during the Hurricane Katrina clean-up effort", she said.
"The Salvation Army relies on the partnership of donors - we can only do what we do with their support".
Volunteers like O'Mara collect donations during the holiday season to help the Salvation Army assist people in need throughout the year, said Marian Paxton, the organization's committee chair for Laramie.
While sifting through donations at the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Atlanta, a Salvation Army employee found a pure gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin in one of the kettles. "I lost a toe, and I got sick and everything and my apartment was gone", he said.
Bobby Miller, who has volunteered for the Red Kettle Campaign the past two years, said she rings the bell because she "loves to help the Salvation Army because they're helping others".
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But that may have been a bit high, as the Salvation Army has barely surpassed the halfway point leading up to the final rush before December 25, only having raised $344,000 to date.
"The money that we raise helps pay for rent, phone, electricity, after-school programs", he explained. Martinsville's goal this year for their Red Kettle Campaign was $70,000, but so far they've only raised $51,500, which is about $18,500 short. They've shown enough maturity and good behavior to get on a plane by themselves and participate without getting in trouble. Wise says volunteers have filled the remaining kettle shifts.
"They don't ask for themselves, but to give to others", O'Mara said.
This year, bell ringers were very positive about their mission.
"For Randolph County this year we had 77 families, and out of those 77 families, there was a total of 95 angels", she said. "People give when they don't have much, and they give it when they do".
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