Christmas means caring in the West

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“Above all else, we will be people who care… we will demonstrate our unswerving love for God by loving our neighbors…”
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA volunteers bring food supplies for holiday meals.


The Salvation Army in Hemet, Calif., received 600 silver dollars, some of which were more than 100 years old, from a local donor. According to Lt. Thom Poochigian, the first 200 were estimated at about $1,500. The remaining coins have not been evaluated.

The first annual Red Kettle Klassic Golf Tournament was held at El Prado Golf Course in Chino, Calif. Eight foursomes showed up to play in a scramble event, directed by Dr. Pat King, an Advisory Board member and city councilman, and assisted by Captain Darren Trimmer. The $3000 raised will help with Ontario’s Christmas outreach. Though several prizes were awarded, nobody won the car offered by one of the major sponsors, Mark Christopher Chevrolet. That would have required a hole-in-one!

Various reporters and columnists from Inland Empire newspapers (counties of Riverside and San Bernardino, Calif.) assisted our outreach by writing first-person stories on Army holiday programs. They helped stand kettles and angel trees, and then wrote stories on their experiences.

A story appearing in the Desert Sun (Cathedral City, Calif.) telling of some problems with kettle collections brought forth a $10,000 and a $2,000 donation by local residents.

Early in December, 66 children paired up with volunteers in Spokane, Wash., for an unforgettable shopping experience. Each child shopped WARDS for a warm coat, boots, a hat, gloves and a full set of clothing. Partic-ipating children were nominated by teachers within the Spokane school district and were invited to spend up to $150 during The Salvation Army’s first annual “Clothe-A-Child” program. Funds were requested, in part, by the efforts of KAQQ Radio.

During the same evening the children were treated to an elaborate Christmas party hosted by Upper Columbia Academy. They enjoyed games, prizes, cotton candy and a pizza/salad bar dinner followed by a Christmas drama. WARDS department store also provided each child with candy, toys, childrens books and a choice of either a camera or an art set.

According to Major JoAnn Mark-ham, this event was so successful that plans are already underway to help clothe 200 children next winter. “This effort fills in a very integral part of our holiday programs.” She said.

According to Lt. Colonel Alfred R. Van Cleef, the Southern California Division provided 525,000 individuals with some form of service that included holiday meals, food baskets, toys, clothing, visiting elderly shut-ins, lodging, etc. during the 1999 holiday season.

“Each year the need grows greater. Thanks to the generosity of the public, we were able to make our kettle goal of $1.6 million, up from $1.5 million in 1998.” The division experienced a 10 percent increase of demand for services in the 1999 holiday season.

Hundreds watched with appreciation as The Salvation Army kicked off the holiday season with a musical performance at the Promenade in downtown Long Beach, Calif. (Majors Jim and Dr. Sallyann Hood, corps officers). The annual event also included free doughnuts for all those in attendance.

Reported by Deanna Boggs, Brian Pickering, Shane Schroeder, Judy Vaughn, and Beverly Ventriss,


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