Capt. Rick Hamelund heads the Leavenworth Salvation Army.

Capt. Rick Hamelund heads the Leavenworth Salvation Army.

1. The Christmas season is a good reminder to community members that some people in our town may be facing personal and financial difficulties that put extra strain on them during the holidays. Do you think the Salvation Army's traditional Red Kettles serve as daily reminders of the joy of caring and sharing and are volunteer bell ringers always needed?
People have traditionally come to expect to see the Salvation Army's Red Kettles during the Christmas season.
The term "Need knows no season" was seen on many Salvation Army Kettle stand toppers as a reminder to people that we have needy people in our community.
We are still in need of volunteers to man kettle stands and to assist others during seasonal distribution days.

2. About how much money is donated via the Red Kettles each year and where does the money go?

Every year we make a local kettle goal. This goal comes from a forecast of what we see as a needs trend. Last year our goal was $80,000 based on where we saw the trend going in emergency assistance. This year our goal is $83,000. All the kettle money goes into our account located here in Leavenworth.

3. Can you tell us about other options for giving such as actual donations of clothing, toys, dinners and even vehicles for people in need? Can people help by giving money for financial assistance with basic necessities, along with seasonal aid?

There are other ways of donating to the Salvation Army besides in the Red Kettle. Our Thrift Store takes donations of clothes, toys, books, household goods and furniture all year round. These donations we re-sell at a reasonable cost to help others in the community. The money generated from our store helps run the programs we offer at the Salvation Army. Another way people can donate to us is through canned-food donations.
We have a food pantry that runs low all the time. We see many people on a weekly basis that need help feeding their family.

4. Can you tell us about the Salvation Army's online monthly option for contributions since many people struggle with family, emotional or employment problems over a period of several months during and after the Christmas season. Are online contributions in memory of a loved one popular?

The Salvation Army has a website for those who wish to make an online donation.
This site is secure and user friendly. Online donations can be made at http://; scroll down until you see the "Donate" option and then it will guide you through the steps. Online donations are becoming more popular now.

5. Is our area unique in that it includes many families of prisoners who may be undergoing intense financial pressures and how can community members ensure that these people's needs, as well as those of the unemployed and seniors can be met?

Leavenworth County is a very unique community because of all the correctional facilities and the military base. Our community not only needs to help the poor, but also all the veterans that have given of themselves to serve our great nation. There are many senior citizens that are on fixed incomes that need help and we cannot forget those who are seeking employment. By supporting the Salvation Army, we help all the needy in our community without discrimination.

— Rimsie McConiga