The Daily Southerner
The Salvation Army fell short of making the campaign goal for its kettle drive this year but still helped those in need this holiday season.
“We still were able to help everybody who came to us for assistance. We didn’t have to turn anyone away,” said Lt. Matt Trantham, Corps Officer for the Salvation Army of Edgecombe and Nash Counties.
The goal for the kettle drive was $104,000 and the drive raised $101,822. Despite falling short of the goal, the non-profit service organization raised $28,000 in the last week of its campaign. The drive raised $12,804 at the Tarboro Wal-Mart alone. Trantham rang the bell at that location on the last day of the drive – Christmas Eve.
“Everybody is very gracious and sees the need to help out others by putting money in the kettle. That’s what they’re doing. They’re making a difference,” said Trantham.
The Salvation Army used the kettle drive funds to help 1,236 children and 460 families this Christmas. The organization also provided a small Christmas gift for approximately 1,400 senior citizens.
Last year’s kettle drive generated $104,822.
“It’s harder for folks to give as much as they have in years past,” Trantham said. “I think folks are really pinching pennies and trying to budget.”
Mary Hannah, manager of the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Tarboro, said she has seen “lots of new faces” shopping in the store recently.
“Everybody’s looking for a bargain,” Hannah said. “With unemployment like it is, you have the middle class coming in and having to take advantage of thrift stores.”
The store sells used items from “49 cents up,” said Hannah, including household items, toys, clothing and furniture.
“You can get an $80 pair of jeans for $5,” said Hannah. “It’s either come in here and get it or you don’t [get it at all.]”
Dorothy Whitehurst of Princeville searched for a pair of jogging pants at the thrift store on Thursday afternoon.
“With the economy like it is, you have to find you a bargain,” she said. She shopped for Christmas decorations at the store earlier this season.
In another section of the store, 9-year-old Trinity Holloman was looking at books with her grandmother, Deborah Ellrod, of Tarboro.
“We love coming up here to get books,” Ellrod said. “We really do enjoy this store. It’s the best place to go for the price.”
Some shop at the thrift store because they don’t have the money to shop for top-of-the-line merchandise, while others have the money but are “scared to spend it,” said Hannah.
The Salvation Army also operates a thrift store in Rocky Mount, offers utility assistance to those in need, and gives used clothing and furniture to families who are victims of house fires.