By STEVE EIGHINGER
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Quincy Salvation Army Tree of Lights Christmas campaign chairman Lee Lindsay Curtis revealed Friday night the goal of this year's fundraiser is $375,000.
"The need is so great, and sadly, it is growing," Curtis told an appreciative turnout of 150 inside the Kroc Center.
The money raised from the campaign helps fund the local Salvation Army's programs and services that provide, food, clothing, shelter and other forms of assistance to those in need.
Curtis revealed checks totaling $50,241 already have been donated to kick start the campaign.
"Almost 9,000 individuals were helped last year by the Salvation Army," she said. "The Salvation Army stands for everything I believe in -- and that is to be obedient to God's word. Eighty-three cents out of every dollar raised by the Salvation Army goes toward its services and programs, and these programs are freely given, not government mandated."
Jo Kirlin of the Salvation Army Advisory Board said the money raised in this campaign is vital to keep the programs and services in place running through the coming year. She also offered an extremely positive prediction.
"We've never had a campaign that failed," Kirlin said.
The campaign raised $407,038 in 2011 and $349,000 in 2010.
"The need is already greater this year than last," Maj. Dan Jennings of the Salvation said. "We have to have a good campaign to keep pace with those needs."
Curtis and her husband, Mike, own and operate Great River Aviation at Quincy Regional Airport. She also has a master's in special education and enjoyed a teaching career that spanned 25 years. Bible study and volunteering are two of her passions.
"Like everyone, I have such respect for the work the Salvation Army does," Curtis said. "I believe in their mission. Jesus told us to show our love for him by serving others, cheerfully giving our time, talents and finances. Like the Salvation Army has done for over 100 years, I, too, want to give a hand up to those in need."
Curtis is the president of the board of directors for Quincy Area Habitat for Humanity. She also has served on other local boards, including Chaddock, Transitions, the Well House and Quincy Preserves. She is a member of the Salvation Army Social Services Committee.
Curtis said 1,200 volunteers are needed during the coming weeks to help the Salvation Army supply its services and man its programs and stations.
Patty Douglas, the director of development at the Salvation Army, supplied figures for who was helped and what was done during the 2011 holiday season in Quincy:
º Assisted 867 families.
º Helped 1,335 children receive toys and gifts.
º Saw that 2,870 gifts were delivered to 1,435 individuals in nursing and group homes.
º Served 739 meals on both Thanksgiving and Christmas days.
Douglas said 1,159 volunteers donated 5,444 hours of service a year ago at this time.
Those wishing to volunteer to ring bells and/or become involved with other Salvation Army-related activities should contact Alisa Elkins at (217) 231-5633.