Two weeks after the kickoff of the 38th Empty Table Fund, $2,205 has been raised for its beneficiary, the Salvation Army.
The fund’s goal is $40,000, Donations will be accepted through mid-January.
Proceeds from the TimesDaily-sponsored fund go directly to the Salvation Army to aid Christmas assistance programs and help the needy during the winter months.
The Angel Tree program, which allows the public to purchase gifts for a child in need, is going well, according to Salvation Army Major Donald Wilson. This year’s trees containing the names of 1,500 local children are at Regency Square Mall and SunTrust Bank on Court Street in Florence.
“People have been really receptive so far to the Angel Tree, and it’s going especially well at the new bank location,” Wilson said.
Gifts must be returned to the tree from which the angel name was taken by Dec. 8. Items also may be taken to the Salvation Army offices, 1601 Huntsville Road, Florence, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is doing well, but behind last year’s pace. Since the kettles will be out fewer days this year, the fund is about $3,000 below where it was at this point last year, officials said. The collection goal for the kettles is $90,000.
“I believe the kettles are going to be OK; we just have less time to ring bells this year,” Wilson said.
Salvation Army Major Jean Wilson said the Shoals is in a giving spirit again this year.
“It’s really indicative of this area,” she said. “That’s one of the first things we noticed when we arrived here. The people of the Shoals have compassion and are very giving.”
A new assistance program has been added this year. On Dec. 8, trucks will be outside Wal-Mart stores in Russellville, Muscle Shoals and Florence to collect new toys and coats. Drop-off times will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The following have contributed to the Empty Table Fund: James I. McClure, $150; Bobby and Barbara Denton, $100; Fellowship Class of First Baptist Church, Florence, $100; Mr. and Mrs. William Ray Roberson, $100; Beth McKinney, $1,000; Marcia Bystrom, $100; Jack Bowen, $40; anonymous, $50; Pierian Study Club, $65; anonymous, $100; Ann and George Petty, $200; Philip R. Albright, $100; Elizabeth C. Patton, $100.
Lisa Singleton-Rickman can be reached at 256-740-5735 or lisa.singleton-rickman@TimesDaily.com.