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Salvation Army requests help to ring in the Christmas season

Posted: Wednesday, Nov 6th, 2013

Courtesy Photo Cherie Wilson (right) presents a retirement plaque to Julie Mills (left) for her 15 years of service to the Salvation Army.

A familiar sight and sound symbol of the holidays will soon appear outside of Safeway and Shopko enticing passersby to contribute. The Salvation Army’s annual bell ringing campaign starts right after Thanksgiving. Like everything else, volunteer bell-ringers are needed. Call Cherie Wilson (331-8704) if you’ll help with this 100+ year tradition.

There will also be counter kettles at Shell Food Mart, Arby’s, Drube’s, Western Sky’s, Thrifty Foods, Wheatland Travel Plaza, two in Glendo and three in Guernsey as well as bell ringers there.

As for where the money goes, since Salvation Army is a church, all the kettle money but 10% (tithe) stays right here in Platte County. The tithe goes to the regional headquarters for Wyoming support. Out of the money collected this organization supports a myriad of activities to help those in need here in Platte County as well as perhaps helping transients get home with things like bus tickets or gas. If a request does not qualify, the Salvation Army people know to whom they can refer for assistance.

The Salvation Army also has a camp at Estes Park for the youth 7 to 12 years old whose families meet the income specifications. Last year, the 12 participants were transported to and from camp by Wheatland Salvation Army volunteers. Wheatland Medical Clinic gives its services free to young people who are going to camp.

“When I was a kid in Washington, we were part of the working poor. The Salvation Army helped us a great deal,” said Sara Vigil, who is the new Salvation Army Welfare Secretary. “This is the way for me to do for those who have the least.”

Working with the Salvation Army has been almost a life-long project for people like Julie Mills who has recently retired after15 years. “I just feel it’s a great program of service to those in need,” stated Mills.

Linda Virant, who has been on the board or volunteered since 1995 said, “It’s just a good place to offer public service.”

As for Cherie Wilson, “The bulk of the money stays right here, not to some CEO or board members who make huge salaries. It is worth my time!”

Volunteer board members and bell ringers are always needed. Mike Huser, an EMT and Glendo Rural Fire Department volunteer summed it up with these few words, “Helping people gets to be an addiction.”

Please think about joining Cate Cundall, Jacquie Whitney, John After and Beverly Spungin who make up the rest of Platte County’s Salvation Army Committee. Call Julie Mills (322-4320) for more information.

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