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December 17, 2010 - 2:21pm

Salvation Army's S.O.S.: Got turkey? An extra coat? A few bucks? Can you ring a bell?

posted by Billie Owens in batavia, charity, Salvation Army.

With Christmas only a week away, the Genesee County Salvation Army is facing a critical time crunch to get the food and others items to families who need them. To say they are coming up short on donations this year, in this economy, is an understatement.

Plus, there's a dearth of bell-ringers, so that's taken a bite out of the Salvation Army's holiday charity campaign.

There are 750 local families who've applied for assistance, and plenty more on a waiting list.

"It's the working families who are really getting squeezed," said Capt. Patty Kurtz, "'the working poor' as the government calls them, are the majority of those who applied this year."

She said the charity used the bulk of its $15,000 Genesee County food budget to buy grocery store gift certificates this year. It also allows families to buy a turkey, ham or whatever for Christmas dinner, and stretches their food budget at a time when their kids are on winter break for two weeks.

The Salvation Army has stocked food items too, of course, with help from Batavia-based business Holiday Ice, which it will start giving out, along with the gift cards, to those on the list beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday, and again on Tuesday. That'll be at headquarters, 529 E. Main St., in the City of Batavia.

Between now and then, food donations would be super appreciated. Can anybody spare a frozen turkey -- like today or tommorrow?

There were 150 of the birds donated and given out at Thanksgiving. For Christmas, they have about 200 on hand, far below what 750-plus families could enjoy.

"It would be ideal if we could (at least) give every family a turkey," said Kurtz, who is called "Captain Patty."

P.S. -- The Salvation Army's winterwear drive lasts all season long. So if you have gently used coats, sweaters, scarves, mittens, gloves, hats, etc. there are people in Genesee County who could sure use them.

To contact the Salvation Army in Batavia, call 343-6284. E-mail Capt. Patty at [email protected].

wayne bell
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With 750 families asking for assisitance it seems as though the Salvation Army has a ready in waiting staff of bell ringers. I think a family that is asking for help can spend some time ringthe bells in return for the gifts they are asking for. I am not saying that you can force a person to ring the bells to receive assisstance but you should have some sortof incentive to get the bell ringers you need.
Billie Owens
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You make a valid point, Wayne.
C. M. Barons
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"It's the working families who are really getting squeezed," said Capt. Patty Kurtz, "'the working poor' as the government calls them, are the majority of those who applied this year." Should the working poor take time off work to ring a bell? Would their employer understand if they did? ...Probably, not; otherwise they would (already) be compensated in a manner precluding poverty.
wayne bell
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I am not saying to take time off from work but you can't tell me they can't take an evening or weekend shift to help out. They had to take time to apply and to pick up what ever package they receive so an hour or two on a week-end or evening is not going to cause the working poor thier jobs.
John Roach
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CM, I would think that Wayne has a good point. And I doubt all of the working poor are working 7 days a week. True, they deserve time off like anyone. But if they are asking for help, they can help. Not all of them will be able to, but out of a reported 750, they should be able to get 50.
C. M. Barons
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John, I forgot to do the math when I rendered my philosophic gloss. The Salvation Army channels generosity of the haves to the have-nots. Supposing that a welfare recipient might have time to do community service in exchange for an allowance is one thing. Asking that the destitute participate in soliciting charity donations seems to muddle the whole spirit of intent (volunteerism). Would you have lepers gather the rags to be rolled into bandages?
C. M. Barons
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Wait! I get it! This is what compassionate conservatism is all about! Wouldn't having the poor ringing the bell suffer confusion with street hustling?
C. M. Barons
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Jim Burns
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I sent an email to volunteer.
John Roach
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CM, So, you're saying that if you have the time and also need help, you should not volunteer to help the people who trying to help you.
C. M. Barons
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John? Do you own a pair of glasses? Put them on and find where I even hinted at that? Using 'should' and 'volunteer' in the same sentence is an oxymoron.
Bea McManis
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Dickens blames the huge class stratification of Victorian England on the selfishness of the rich and, implicitly, on the Poor Laws that keep down the underclass. Scrooge is the obvious symbol of the greedy Victorian rich, while the Cratchits represent the working poor. When the children of Ignorance and Want crawl out from under the robes of the Ghost of Christmas Present, the ghost sends a message to Scrooge, and the same is given to the Victorian reader: to help out those in Want, and beware of Ignorance in oneself and others. Things haven't changed much in over 100 years.
John Roach
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CM, You said, "Asking that the destitute participate in soliciting charity donations seems to muddle the whole spirit of intent (volunteerism)." Do you, or do you not, think it would be appropriate to ask the "destitute" to help?
C. M. Barons
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Number one, John; you ain't Perry Mason. Number two, if you can't figure the answer from what I said, you lack something. Most of the folks ringing bells fit the description: deserving. Charity is a kind gesture between anonymous people. The reciprocity is a feeling, having done something good for no other reason. If more is required, don't call it charity.
Julie A Pappalardo
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Maybe they have plenty of bell ringers, but people aren't giving as much $ because the economy sucks. Therefore, they are falling short. Just a thought. Happy (insert whatever holiday you celebrate here) everyone!!
John Roach
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CM, Touchy. Wayne made a good point that if they need more help ringing bells to raise money to help people, maybe some of the people in need can help them by volunteering to ring the bell. Sort of helping yourself. It seemed clear you did not approve of his idea. You came up with that taking time off from work track, criticizing Wayne's suggestion. Personally, if they are up against it and need more help, then then Wayne's idea is a good one.
C. M. Barons
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"I think a family that is asking for help can spend some time ringthe bells in return for the gifts they are asking for." "They had to take time to apply and to pick up what ever package they receive so an hour or two on a week-end or evening is not going to cause the working poor thier jobs." Source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary- char·i·ty noun \ˈcher-ə-tē, ˈcha-rə-\ plural char·i·ties Definition of CHARITY 1 : benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity 2 a : generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also : aid given to those in need b : an institution engaged in relief of the poor 1vol·un·teer noun \ˌvä-lən-ˈtir\ Definition of VOLUNTEER 1 : a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service: as a : one who enters into military service voluntarily b (1) : one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest (2) : one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration quid pro quo noun \ˌkwid-ˌprō-ˈkwō\ Definition of QUID PRO QUO : something given or received for something else; also : a deal arranging a quid pro quo See quid pro quo defined for English-language learners »
John Roach
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CM, What part of the original story did you fail to understand? The Salvation Army is having a hard time helping others. One of the problems listed is a lack of bell ringers. Somebody suggests that maybe; just maybe, some of the people asking for a little helping hand might be able to help the helpers. You immediately took a shot at the idea. But, there is still a lack of ringers and you want to ignore a possible solution to help.
Frank Cook
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I'd encourage anyone who's in support of gay rights to avoid donations to the salvation army and donate to an alternative charity instead, as they do spend a portion of their money lobbying against gay marriage/benefits for gay couples.
Bea McManis
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I rang the bells last year. Unfortunately, this year, my knees aren't going to let me do that. I wish I could.
Dave Olsen
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I'm going to stir the pot some more. C.M. and John spent 6 hours arguing about this, C.M.'s first comment 2:53 pm, John's last 8:42 pm. You both could've been out bell ringing. There now you can agree on something: Dave is a jerk.
George Richardson
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Why don't y'all just go donate online. No bell ringers necessary. Twenty buck will go a long ways and you'll never miss it.
Doug Yeomans
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CM, the working poor are poor because they're being taxed to death. Wayne, nobody "deserves" time off. That's like saying everyone deserves health care. "It just aint so." If somebody has to work 7 days a week to make ends meet, then so be it. There was a time when multi-generational families lived under one roof for a reason. It was the only way they could afford to survive. During the industrial revolution it became possible for everyone to have their own domicile and that led to the disintegration of real families. If people, family, would work together and pool resources, they'd do just fine. It's nice to be able to live off on your own but if you can't make it alone then living with other people is a perfectly good solution.
C. M. Barons
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"Contention Is Better Than Loneliness." ---W. B. Yeats
Julie A Pappalardo
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To Frank: I am WELL aware of the fact that the Salvation Army discriminates. I flat out REFUSE to give them a dime in those kettles. BUT I give them food every year so that some little kids can enjoy a GREAT holiday meal. It is not THEIR fault that the Salvation Army people haven't figured out that people are people yet. And it isn't their fault that their parents have fallen on hard times (or the parents are just takers) My hope is that one day, these "Christian" institutions will WAKE UP and practice what they preach. I always say "Jesus is embarrased" by these people/organisations. Frankly, Jesus would be HORRIFIED to see how the "Christians" have perverted his message of peace and love. The very thought of a little kid going hungry and without a toy on whatever holiday the family celebrates makes my stomach turn. That fact makes me put my animosity towards the Salvation Army aside......but just for the season. I wish there was an organisation that wasn't attached to organised religion that I could give my charitable donations to. I DID give a bunch of cash to the Buffalo Mission to feed familys here in Erie County. I'm still looking around to decide where to drop toys off for some kids. I prefer someplace that is not a religous institution unless they accept EVERYONE. So, Catholics/Mormans etc. are unacceptable. Peace!
Bea McManis
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Perhaps, while demanding that the HAVENOTS ring the bell for their supper, we should also expect them to wear a sign around their neck proclaiming that they are one of the recipients. For all any of us know, they are already ringing that bell. Perhaps it is the HAVES that aren't coming out this year. We'll never know since that sign around the neck isn't mandatory yet. C.M. is right. The act of kindness isn't something that is publicized. It is done out of the goodness of one's heart. The reward is knowing that you have done a good deed. The working poor aren't being taxed to death. They are struggling because the jobs they hold pay minimum wage. Many have already taken that step down to a job that doesn't utilize the skills for which they were trained and when that job evaporated, took another step down. Isn't that one of the solutions, I read here? Let them retrain? How many times in a lifetime should a person be retrained? How will the bills be paid while that person is in a training program or taking more college courses to compete in today's job market? There are some training programs that offer some compensation (government programs), but most of you want those programs eliminated. Some rely on unemployment benefits (which come nowhere near what one needs to support a family), but you want that ended too. Some turn to DSS for that extra assist. Maybe food stamps, HEAP, or child care expenses. That would help while retraining or looking for a new, lower paying, job. Oh, I forgot, DSS should be halted as well. Someone referred to those who need help as parasites. I wonder if all 750 families that the Salvation Army will help, this year, really are parasites? Why can't all 750 just pool their resources and live like one communal family? There would be no need to give them 200 turkeys. Just give them the eggs and let them incubate their own. No need to provide canned goods. Give them the seeds and they can do the work themselves. Charles Dickens' lesson on humanity is as current today as it was in Victorian England. The difference is that there was redemption at the end of his story.
Julie Morales
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“Number one, …; you ain't Perry Mason.” Hilarious!
Bea McManis
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Julie, I got a chuckle out of that too.
Julie A Pappalardo
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Here's an idea: Maybe people who can't afford to feed themselves should quit having children. (GASP!)
Julie Morales
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I think they have solutions for that in China.
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While I dont usually agree with Julie P. on some issues, I have in my 20's done alot of volunteer work to build up a resume with the Salvation Army and The Rescue Mission when I lived in the Syracuse area, I have to agree with her that the things given to the poor are picked through and taken before it ever reaches its goals. Some is deliberate, some isnt but the things I've seen made me sick. Go into a thrift store and look at the prices. Better yet take something thats a little worn but perfectly fucntional, and see how choosy they are. These are real examples of the greed creeping in. Just another of my real life observances....
John Roach
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Bea, Again, you make things up. How did you come up with anyone "demanding" the people in need ring the bells? There was only a suggestion that if there is a shortage of bell ringers, maybe, just maybe, some of the people asking for help, might be able to help the helpers. What is wrong with that idea? The Salvation Army has a problem getting help. Somebody gave a suggestion on how they might get a little more help and you belittle the idea. Your rejection of the idea does not solve the SA problem, but seems to make you feel good.
John Roach
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Julie, I understand your issue with the SA and gay rights, and not wanting to give them money. But the Red Kettle money is used for the poor, not lobbying. I'd hate to see people not give money to help local people because of the national organizations policies.
Dave Olsen
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C.M. " Contention Is Better Than Loneliness." ---W. B. Yeats" Good One Sarcasm is the sour cream of wit. - Anonymous
George Richardson
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"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today." -Wimpy "Ho ho ho" -Santa Claus
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Julie P. Look into The United Methodist Church of your choice. The local churches don't have to follow any national policy and are typically open for everyone. the Pastor in Oakfield has been publicly supportive of your viewpoint. http://thebatavian.com/blogs/billie-owens/gay-marriage-controversy-reaso... Also, The United Church of Christ may speak to you. I am sure both have places you can contribute.
Dave Olsen
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Since we're doing quotes: I had to go look this one up. From June 23, 2010: "I'll make a toast to you Richard: "Long may you hate my sorry ass." And I still like you, doesn't that suck?" George Richardson to his Texas Buddy, Richard. Hahahahaha, a true classic, I love ya, George.
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Julie P. ,Perhaps you may want to consider the church at West Jackson Cornors on the Knowsville/Shelby Rd. They are a non denominational church, and EVERYBODY is welcome. The pastor, Mr. Eric Olson, is a wonderfull man. He accepts no money for the work he does, nor do they "pass the hat". I have never seen such devoted people willing to help others. I'm sure you'll find it very refreshing. By the way, are you ready for us at 7 1/2 ?
Julie A Pappalardo
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Thanks Dave and Rick. I'll chekc those churches out. It is refreshing to see chuches that are, in fact, churches. Rick, I hope to finish up 7 1/2 before the holidays. I'm waiting on Nat'l Fuel, then turning the H2O on!! The LONG journey is almost over lol. It looks GREAT in there though. It will make a wonderful home for someone! Right now I'm wishing I had space for the folks who just got booted from that motel :/ At holiday time and everything....GEEZ........
Jim Burns
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Been here all morning. Need more turkeys. Looks like only half of families will be fed
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CM based on your thinking habitat for humanity requiring people to put in lots of time building before getting a house of their own is wrong...
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Peter, you haven't been pulling your hair out for three days, trying to resurrect an argument, have you? Well, you still don't get it. Stop thinking like a divorce lawyer. Try thinking like a children's-book-author; you might figure it out.
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For Habitat For Humanity, there is an explicit contract for sweat equity in exchange for the opportunity to own a home. There is no contract for receiving a food basket. We don't know, nor shoud we ever know, the number of recipients who DO ring the bell in order to help others. That is the nature of giving.
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Thanks to Frank and Julie, I will now be donating again to the SA since I don't believe that the institution of marriage should be sullied by the gays.
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CM I didn't read this till just now and that comparison popped into my head as soon as I read it. Bea, Who wants to know if the ringers are receivers? No one, they need help and should ask those that are receiving their grace. Libs always preach that the Haves need to "give back" when they never took anything to begin with but those that need help and took it, god forbid they should have it suggested to them to give back.
Jim Burns
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So any one going to come help or are you all just going to sit and hide behind your screens? Man up boys and stop the childish bitching.
Peter O'Brien
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Jim I have to ask my wife but we will probably be donating our frozen turkey. What time are you open till?
Jim Burns
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Until 5 today 300 are needed I brought 20
Jim Burns
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From what I can tell half the volunteers here are the ones in need and they are bell ringing and helping
Bea McManis
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Posted by Jim Burns on December 20, 2010 - 1:32pm From what I can tell half the volunteers here are the ones in need and they are bell ringing and helping Thanks, Jim. That is exactly my point. They are willing to give their time to help others. .....Libs always preach that the Haves need to "give back" when they never took anything to begin with but those that need help and took it, god forbid they should have it suggested to them to give back. Jim answered that. As for giving to someone less fortunate when a more fortunate never took anything is just about the logic I would expect. Sort of like comparing a basket of food to a house.

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