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May 15, 2014

MAKING AN IMPACT: Salvation Army honors volunteers with luncheon

NEW ALBANY — The numbers are staggering. For the fiscal year 2012-13, The Salvation Army Southern Indiana helped 10,721 individuals through its food pantry, gave utility assistance to 24,312 people, and provided back-to-school clothing to 1,297 children.

That is only a small sampling of the help The Salvation Army gives to the six-county area it serves.

At Christmas, 4,955 food baskets and Kroger gift cards were handed out to those in need and 4,174 children benefited from the Angel Tree program. And without the help of volunteers and donors, none of it would be possible.

“There is no way we could do it. No way,” said Roxanne Haley, business manager at The Salvation Army, of the many volunteers who give their time, talent and provide financial assistance. “There is just more and more need.”

Wednesday afternoon, The Salvation Army held its annual volunteers luncheon to say thank you to the helping hands that make the Army work for so many in the community. Or, as Maj. Stephen Kiger put it, help restore “zest” in the lives of those who are in need.

“With all the things we do, it wouldn’t be impossible without these folks,” said Kiger, who has been the Corps officer in New Albany for 13 years. “It [area] is unique. There are so many people in the community who want to help, be involved. It makes it a joy to be part of it. It’s a great service area.”

Four volunteer awards were handed out at the luncheon Wednesday. Debbie Smith was honored for all of her service in the Army office while Danny Downs and Jim McCormick were also singled out for their volunteer efforts. McCormick operates The Salvation Army Canteen.

Your Community Bank, represented by Diane Murphy, Dale Orem and Don Gibbons, was praised for its service during Christmas, sorting and counting all of the money raised through Red Kettle donations. This past Christmas, $212,000 was dropped into the kettles.

“They count all the nickels, dimes and quarters and straighten the dollar bills. We don’t have to do anything,” Haley said.

Bob Lane, director of the New Albany Housing Authority, said many of his residents have received help through The Salvation Army’s transitional housing program as well as receive utility assistance.

“The transitional housing program is just fabulous,” Lane said. “They do a lot of things for a lot of people.”


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