As we move into the end of another year, we are mindful of all the blessings that have been given to us and how much we need to stand in support of each other.

For many of our neighbors, this time of year highlights their efforts to take care of their families and their disappointment in not being able to provide the gifts their children may be requesting this year, or the holiday meal they don’t have the resources to prepare.

All of us share a similar desire to be with our loved ones and share in this season together. For the past 150 years, The Salvation Army has been working to provide this for every member of our community.

Founded in 1865 in England by William Booth, an itinerant preacher, to provide religious services to the poor who were not welcomed in the local churches, The Salvation Army describes itself as “an international evangelical Christian movement with a strong social conscience.” This mission intersected with the Bangor community in 1885, and we have continued in our commitment to do the most good for those in the most need.

This season we will continue to be in the places residents expect to see us most: ringing the red kettle bells, serving hot meals, visiting area nursing homes and jails, distributing holiday assistance, and investing in community efforts to be a consistent resource for our neighbors.

Since 1973, the Bangor Daily News has sponsored the Santa’s Helper Fund, raising nearly $1 million in support of programs such as Christmas gifts for children, meals for the hungry, clothing, heating and housing assistance, as well sending children to Camp Sebago over the summer and providing free music lessons to youth throughout the year.

All the money received by this fund goes directly to The Salvation Army.

When distance is an issue, the funds are directed to our closest designated location. It is truly neighbor helping neighbor.

This year’s goal is to raise $60,000, which we believe is possible with your help.

Past gifts have been given by families, social groups, businesses and individuals in the name of loved ones, in memory of cherished friends or pets, and even anonymously. Donations may be sent to Santa’s Helper Fund, The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1101, Bangor, ME 04402 or may be made online at

Donations will be listed in the BDN with notations as requested. Your gifts and generosity are always greatly appreciated, and we look forward to another impactful year together. Thank you!