Salvation Army looking for readers to find their inner Santa to help those in need this season

Posted Nov. 25, 2011, at 12:33 p.m.

It’s always a tricky question for a parent to answer. Her daughter has just seen Santa at a store or a Christmas party and asks, “Mommy, is that the real Santa?”

“Well, sweetie, he’s Santa’s helper. He’s doing this to make it possible for Santa to do everything that he needs to this Christmas.”

It’s a satisfying answer that helps her to see that even Santa can use a little help sometimes, and that others can join him in his work.

That’s what it’s like for many of us. We know that there are those who need help, but we are unsure of what we can do. We know that there are those who are helping, and we want to do what we can to support them. That’s what the Santa’s Helper Fund is all about. Each day, The Salvation Army is working to help those in need who come to us, and through your donations you come alongside us and allow us to serve the community on your behalf. It’s what it means to be a Santa’s helper.

In this difficult economy, there are many people in need of help. This year, we at The Salvation Army saw an increase in the number of people asking for help for the first time in their lives. They never thought that they would be in this situation, but circumstances brought them to the place where they need assistance with groceries, or heating oil, or clothing, or rent. Some seem a bit embarrassed to be asking, but we reassure them that there are times when everyone needs a helping hand; with help, they can get back on their feet.

Your donations to the Santa’s Helper Fund help with our year-round work in the community, including meals at our Dorothy Day Soup Kitchen, Christmas gifts for children, utility and rental assistance, groceries from our food pantry, sending a child to Camp Sebago, heating assistance, clothing and winter coats, and much more. Since 1973, the readers of the Bangor Daily News have raised more than $900,000 in support of their neighbors in need. This year our goal is $50,000.

Bangor Savings Bank understands what it means to be Santa’s helper. We’re excited to announce that this year, they have committed to match the first $25 of each donation, up to $25,000. That means that your donation will go farther and will reach more people because of their willingness to partner with you in giving back to the community. We are thankful for their example of generosity. If you help us to reach our goal, because of the match it will mean $75,000 to serve our community.

You can honor the memory of a loved one when you send in your donation. Gifts in the past have been given by individuals, families, social groups or businesses; in the name of loved ones, anonymously, and even in memory of a cherished pet. Donations will be listed daily in the Bangor Daily News.

Donations may be sent to Santa’s Helper Fund, The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 2519, Bangor, ME 04402, or may be made securely online at www.Bangor.SalvationArmyME.org.

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