THERE'S something personal about the Salvation Army Tree of Lights campaign.
Campaign co-chairmen Roy and Trisha Webb agreed to lead the campaign because they know it can help people who are struggling. Roy Webb, the superintendent at Quincy Public Schools, sees children and families in need and knows the Salvation Army helps out.
"When people maybe are going without a meal or having trouble at home, or they've lost a job or they're in a disaster-type situation, the Salvation Army is there," Webb said.
This year's campaign goal is $400,000. But the Webbs and others who attended a kickoff dinner and program last week know that behind that number, the Salvation Army's response is personal.
Over the past year, the Salvation Army Emergency Shelter and Family Services has provided 3,836 nights of lodging for 423 people at the emergency shelter, 15,154 meals to residents in the shelter, education classes for 2,463 people, and 3,076 food boxes to families through the food pantry. In addition, 4,338 toys were given to children. Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners fed 860 people, and food baskets were given to 700 families.
Patty Douglas, the Salvation Army's development director, said the Tree of Lights campaign includes collections from the Salvation Army's red kettles, which will be manned by volunteers at locations around Quincy through Dec. 23. Individual and corporate donations, special events and WGEM's annual Bucket Blitz also will raise money for the campaign.
A new method of giving also allows people to text donations through cellphone accounts to DONATEQUINCY to 41444.
"There is a need obviously in the Quincy community," Webb told The Herald-Whig.
There also is a tradition of community support that has answered the call each year. While donors provide the financial numbers, Salvation Army workers and volunteers make sure they never forget that the assistance is about more than numbers -- it's personal.