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Need in community knows no season

By Jennie Hevern, Douglas County Salvation Army Outreach volunteer, Alexandria, MN

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday and reflect on how lucky we are to live in a community that is a great place to call home, please don’t forget those that are less fortunate. If we’re doing OK, we can sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner and count our blessings: our home, for which we can pay the rent/mortgage payment; our heat, for which we never have had shut-off notices; our food, which is enough to fill all our bellies; our reliable car, which keeps us employed and our children in extracurricular activities; our clothes, for which our children have never had to go without; and our health, for which we are able to get the treatment we need.

Many of our neighbors here in Douglas County will sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with thoughts and concerns of, “How will I pay the December rent because my income was less this next week due to my sick kid?” “What will my employer do if my kids don’t get better?” “How can I tell them there is not enough money for gifts this Christmas?”

“Need Knows No Season” has been the motto of the Salvation Army for years. The need in the last five years for residents of Douglas County has increased by 45 percent. In 2008, the Douglas County Salvation Army assisted 2,155 people, this year 3,124 (969 additional people) were assisted. The question that arises is, why?

There are far more why’s than ever: Fewer full-time jobs. The cost of housing and utilities on the rise. Incomes that are stagnant. Lack of skills that would provide more household income. Cuts to government programs for low-income people. And the list goes on.

The Douglas County Salvation Army will continue to be called by families and individuals seeking housing, food, vehicle repairs, propane, utility disconnect notices, medical emergencies, and transportation issues that need to be addressed, but we need your help.

Each year the Red Kettle Bell Ringers commit to “Ringing the Bell.” Please consider donating to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign or volunteering at any one of our Red Kettle locations throughout the holiday season.

Please contact (320) 304-4233 for more information.