By Emily Oreto
This year Christmas has an army. In September the Salvation Army opened its Center for Worship and Service in downtown Culpeper. The works of The Salvation Army have been present in the county for more than a decade. This is the first year The Salvation Army has been able to work and provide services through the church in addition to their social work. The Salvation Army is reaching out to “Do the Most Good” in Culpeper, Orange, and Warrenton. By donating just two hours of time to ring the bell or putting just a little more in one of those red kettles people can help The Salvation Army do a little bit more in the community. Eighty-two cents of every dollar goes to support the people of the community through services provided by The Salvation Army.
Money from donations means that The Salvation Army can provide assistance and programs to people in our counties who otherwise may have gone unserved and unreached. Red kettle donations allow the Salvation Army to provide energy assistance to people who otherwise would be unable to pay their utility bills and are facing imminent cutoffs. Energy assistance can help keep people from losing their utilities, have a warm meal, and protect them from extreme temperatures. Donations keep the pantries stocked so that The Salvation Army can provide emergency food and commodities to people and families in desperate situations. Families in need can also utilize the Pathways of Hope program to break free from the cyclic nature of long term poverty. The Salvation Army uses this program to set individual and unique goals for each family to make the program work best for them. The Salvation Army’s programs help make Christmas bright for families in need. Angel Trees help make Christmas special for children who may not have anything under the tree. This program provides new toys and clothes to children and food to families on Christmas.
While The Salvation Army may be most visible during the Christmas season money raised through the Red Kettle campaign supports the work of the Salvation Army all year long. Tuesday evenings at the Center for Worship and Service on East Culpeper Street the Salvation Army welcomes school age children to Youth Downtown. Youth Downtown is a weekly youth night where the children are fed a warm dinner and taught about the teachings of Jesus through games, fun crafts, and interactive activities. Children from the community are also provided the opportunity to go to camp during the summer. The Salvation Army has a 635 acre camp in Richardsville that serves children from all over Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland. Donations to the Red Kettle Campaign help provide money for scholarships for camp that allow recipients to have a once in a life time experience.
The success of this Red Kettle season comes directly from the community. The time slots for volunteers at the kettles are just two hours, though anyone willing is welcome to give more time. Lieutenant Jared Martin, the minister at the Salvation Army in this community, has asked that anyone interested in volunteering reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. For people unable to donate their time The Salvation Army is asking that they consider just how far their money can go. If everyone who contributed could donate just a little more, the works of The Salvation Army would have that much more of an impact on the community. Last year The Salvation Army helped 1,932 individuals in Culpeper and Warrenton alone. That number was an increase of 9.2%. Your donation can help make an even greater impact in 2018.