The Salvation Army is embarking on its annual drive to raise money for the families in our area facing the most difficult circumstances this season.
And The News Leader, as we have in years past, is supporting The Neediest Families drive to raise money for this most worthy effort. We hope you will support it.
In a year where we’ve logged job losses, faced a pandemic and seen school and social activities disrupted — I believe it’s more important than ever to help this effort if you are able. To be a citizen of Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County means looking out for your fellow neighbors if you aren’t living paycheck to paycheck, if you have a 401K and if you can afford the groceries you need without blinking.
If there ever was a year for the fortunate part of the population to dig deep, this is the year. I’d hope we can quickly help the Salvation Army meet its $25,000 fundraising goal and even surpass it.
Recipients have come from every corner of Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County since the program began in 2006. The program helps eight to 10 families each year in our area.
The News Leader will keep you updated about how fundraising is going, and partway through the process, we’ll hear from leaders in the group about the effort’s details.
But the main thing I’d like to highlight is the suffering in this season, often suffering in silence, that is all around us. If you care and have compassion, if you follow a faith that urges charity, if you are worried about the future of our community — this is the best year to start contributing what you can to this worthwhile effort. COVID and related business disruptions have raised the pressure on financially insecure families to an incredible level.
More: Lassiter: Staunton’s Al Hamilton leaves behind amazing legacy
More: Augusta County ready to livestream athletic events this winter
They shouldn’t be left stranded on their own.
Here are some examples from The Staunton Salvation Army of families that have been helped recently by The Neediest Families program:
Grandma and 3 kids
“There is a family of (4) living in Staunton, who moved from a larger city in Virginia in order to get the children out of a bad neighborhood and bad influence of other kids. The move was a financial strain and many bills fell behind in payment. The Neediest Families program got the family up-to-date with their bills. Grandma and her three grandchildren are now able to move forward with their lives.”
16-year-old car broke down
“A mom and two children in Waynesboro are now moving forward with their lives after the husband/dad did not want to be married anymore and left the family.
Mom needed repairs on her 16-year-old vehicle so she could go to work and take care of the boys. The Neediest Families program got the vehicle repaired and completely serviced with all new tires. Mom said; “It feels like new” and she is no longer afraid to drive to work and transport her children to activities.”
Life after a heart attack
“An older couple in Augusta County is adjusting to a different lifestyle following the husband’s heart attack. Their income is much less than before and there were some very much needed changes in the home. The Neediest Families program helped purchase a new mattress set, roof repairs and updated their utilities. The couple is moving forward and still adjusting to a new normal.”
To contribute, please send your check to the Staunton Salvation Army office at 1700 W. Beverly St. The mailing address is P.O. Box 2412, Staunton, VA 24402. Please write Neediest Families on your envelope and check so that donations may be properly applied.
The News Leader will recognize those individuals, companies and organizations who give to the program by placing their names in a weekly advertisement giving details of how much money the program has raised. Contributors who do not wish to be recognized may remain anonymous.
— William Ramsey is the editor of The News Leader and the executive editor of seven papers in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina for USA TODAY Network.
This article originally appeared on Staunton News Leader: Amid crisis, we need to support ‘The Neediest Families’ here more than ever: Ramsey