GOSHEN — The week before Christmas has turned out to be a good one for the Goshen Corps of the Salvation Army.
Early this week, the Army received about 200 boxes of food from Harvest Community Church and the Goshen Noon Kiwanis Club. The boxes of food help to feed families in need and coincide with what people would get from the Army’s food pantry.
This year, Harvest provided 123 boxes as part of its annual “Making a World of Difference” December giving campaign, while the Kiwanis Club brought in 90.
Major Allen Hanton said the boxes should bolster food stores for a month to six weeks, depending on how many people come to pick up a box.
According to a release from Harvest Community Church, each box is supposed to help feed a family of four for one week.
The good news continued for the Goshen Corps, which saw a surge in donations to the red kettle campaign early in the week.
“The numbers I’ve seen for this week, at least for the first three days, we’ve seen an increase in giving to the kettles,” Hanton said. He noted that in those first days of the week, donations totaled no less than $1,000 each day.
After last week, the Army sat at 83 percent of its $50,000 goal, but by Thursday night, Hanton said they were up to about 90 percent, or $45,000.
He now hopes that the Army’s total for the kettle campaign will top $65,000, far exceeding the goal for 2012.
The Elkhart Salvation Army is a bit behind in its kettle campaign, but the group remains optimistic heading into the final days before Christmas.
Major Steve Woodard said they had collected about $88,000, but that total only reflected what they’d raised up through Wednesday. “We’re getting closer, but we’re still a little behind,” Woodard said.
He hopes the timing of Christmas can provide the Army with the final push it needs to reach the $100,000 goal. “Christmas being close to the weekend helps, with people finishing their shopping,” Woodard explained.
The Goshen and Elkhart kettle campaigns run through Christmas Eve.