Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

November 9, 2013

Salvation Army needs help bringing Christmas to area’s needy families

Requests for assistance up nearly 18 percent

CUMBERLAND — More than 200 children still need to be “adopted” under the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, which matches needy children with area residents who want to provide a child with Christmas gifts.

“Our community is hurting. It’s not the little children’s fault,” said Jim Dillingham, officer and senior pastor with the Salvation Army Cumberland corps.

Each Christmas season the Salvation Army accepts applications from families who have fallen on difficult financial times.

If they qualify, the children are placed in the Angel Tree program where they are then chosen or, in the program’s language, “adopted” by individuals or businesses.

The Angel Tree program accepts children from Allegany and Garrett counties in Maryland and Mineral and Hampshire counties in West Virginia.

“There are people who are suffering due to medical problems, divorce, economic situations and other problems that are many times beyond their control,” said Dillingham.

When a person or organization adopts an angel, they are given a tag that tells them the child’s sex, first name, sizes of their clothes, shoes and coat, and they are given three gift ideas.

“In the end, it makes you feel really good to see the parents’ faces. They become overwhelmed,” said Heather Miltenberger, a bookkeeper for the organization.

The Salvation Army has, in past years, placed the children’s names on Christmas trees and other places at the Country Club Mall and Walmart. However, having people be able to pull a name and take it home got to be very hard to track.

“It got a bit chaotic,” Dillingham said.

“You didn’t know who had what,” Miltenberger said.

The Salvation Army has changed the program in an effort to simplify the process by asking people or businesses wanting to participate to call 301-777-7600.

“Sometimes people don’t know how to ask for help; they have never been through this before,” said Kitty Willison, the organization’s social service director.

Willison said that normally they are able to get all the children adopted.

Officials said that this year has been difficult due to the tough economic times.

Dillingham said that times have been difficult for people with children trying to make ends meet, and for the individuals and organizations that typically participate by adopting the children.

“We have had an increase of about 18 percent just this year” in requests for help, said Dillingham.

Dillingham said that in 2012 they had 1,050 children and this year they have 1,250.

A food box is also provided to the needy families by the Salvation Army so the children can have a Christmas dinner.

Dillingham said that it can become a touching scene when you see how overtaken the parent becomes with the gifts.

“Some have never asked for help before,” said Dillingham.

Dillingham said one woman came in and there was little hope for her family. She broke down and started crying when she picked up the gifts.

“That is what makes us work so hard,” said Dillingham.

Although three gift suggestions are given to those who adopt an angel, there are no requirements placed on anyone.

“It is whatever your heart guides you to do,” said Dillingham.

Officials would like to have the gifts in by Dec. 10. They are distributed to the families Dec. 17.

The Salvation Army is located at 701 E. First St.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • City, county officials to talk baseball at work session

    CUMBERLAND — During today’s Allegany County Commission work session, a proposal to study the possibility of bringing a professional-level baseball team to the area will be vetted again, this time with participants from the city of Cumberland.

    April 17, 2014

  • EversolCody004.jpg Cody Eversole named Kelley Award winner

    KEYSER, W.Va. — Keyser High School senior Cody Eversole was named this year’s J. Edward Kelley Award winner during a ceremony Wednesday morning at Potomac State College.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0464.JPG Cranes set up to remove overturned fuel tanker in Oakland

    OAKLAND — Two large cranes were being set up early Wednesday afternoon in downtown Oakland to remove a fuel tanker that overturned several hours earlier and forced evacuation of the business district.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Students support renovation of Southern Middle School

    OAKLAND — Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Oakland business district evacuated after tanker overturns

    OAKLAND — The town of Oakland business district was evacuated Wednesday when a tanker carrying 10,000 gallons of liquid propane overturned at Oak and Third streets at about 9:35 a.m., according to Garrett County officials.

    April 16, 2014

Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
NDN Video