The pace for contributions has picked up for the community’s Empty Table Fund, but the $40,000 goal is far from being reached.
Through Thursday, $4,010 has been collected.
The Empty Table fund, sponsored by the TimesDaily, is in its 38th year and benefits the Salvation Army of the Shoals.
Salvation Army officials use proceeds to offset costs associated with the Christmas assistance programs as well as to help those in need during the winter months.
Salvation Army Major Donald Wilson said the organization’s Angel Tree program has fared well so far this year, but about 200 angel names are left.
The trees are at Regency Square Mall, SunTrust Bank on Court Street and at the Russellville Wal-Mart.
“Having a couple more locations (the bank and Wal-Mart) has helped tremendously this year,” Wilson said, adding that gifts for the angel tree participants must be returned by Saturday.
For those who want to help but did not adopt an angel name, new clothing in all children’s sizes is needed to help fill stockings for the unadopted names. New toys for all ages also are needed. Those items may be left at the Angel Tree sites or taken to the Salvation Army offices, 1601 Huntsville Road, Florence.
Also, a new toy and children’s coat drive will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Wal-Mart stores in Muscle Shoals, Florence and Russellville.
As for the red kettle collection program, Wilson said contributions are on par with a year ago. The goal this year is $90,000 and kettles will be in place through Dec. 24.
“We’re on pace to make our goal, but we’ve had a few setbacks this year that we’ve had to overcome, such as losing some days for the kettles,” he said.
“Our volunteer bell ringers at the kettles have picked up this year, which cuts our cost on paying people to do it. Our goal has been to fill most of the season with volunteer bell ringers.”
The following contributed to the Empty Table Fund last week: Merwin Jean and Robert Clark, $30; Callie and Vince Brewton, $200; Ms. L.C. Morgan, $200; Buddy LeMaster Sunday School of Killen United Methodist Church, $200; in memory of Neil Taylor Sr. by Dennis and Maureen Steele, $100; Mrs. Sheila Blackwood, $25; Charles C. Anderson, $1,000; Rogersville United Methodist Women, $50.
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.
To contribute to the 38th Empty Table Fund, send donations by check or cash to the TimesDaily, c/o Controller, P.O. Box 797, Florence, AL 35631