It’s often a bad year for a family when it applies to the Salvation Army for help during the Christmas season.
But a greater number of people got helped during the season due to a higher-than-expected donation haul for the charity’s Empty Stocking Fund.
As of Friday, the Salvation Army had received $10,113.92 in donations — and co-chair Maj. Jim Gallop said another $1,000 was expected because Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railways planned to match a contribution made by an employee.
Jim and Maj. Rachel Gallop, Jim’s wife and the second co-chair, said the goal was to raise $5,000.
“It really tells us the people of Clovis are very willing to give to an organization they know will not only benefit from the gift, but benefit others as well,” Jim Gallop said.
Donations ranged from $18.92 all the way to $4,000, with most donations in the $50 to $100 range.
As far as the kettles go, Rachel Gallop said the organization was $900 behind their totals at the same time last year, but said that was largely because she fell a few days behind on counting the daily totals. By the time it all comes in, the Salvation Army expects to have $45,000 to work with.
“It usually lasts about seven or eight months,” Rachel Gallop said. “It funds women’s ministries, the family ministries and all of the family stuff we do.”
The Empty Stocking Fund helps provide meals for needy seniors and — in conjunction with the Angel Tree program — gifts for children whose families have fallen on hard times.
Jim Gallop said there are checks of lists between the Salvation Army and the Clovis Police Department’s “Shop With a Cop” program to make sure families aren’t double-dipping and taking a spot another family could use.
“They want to do the checks,” Jim Gallop said of the CPD. “They also want to make sure they’re getting to children in need, and not in greed.”
The Salvation Army accepts Empty Stocking Fund donations any time of the year, but largely sees donations during the Christmas season.
The Portales News Tribune is accepting Empty Stocking Fund donations at the newspaper office at 101 E. First St.
Donations may be mailed to the PNT at P.O. Box 848, Clovis, N.M. 88102. Envelopes should be clearly marked to indicate they contain a donation for the Empty Stocking Fund.