By Jeanne Sager
MONTICELLO November 4, 2003 It looks like this time the saviors are looking for a helping hand.
The Salvation Army serves more than 2,000 Sullivan County residents a year. They hand out funds for prescription drugs and procure help for those who cant heat their homes in the winter.
But requests for help are already pouring into the Monticello office at an extraordinary rate, and agency officials are scrambling to find money to meet the need.
The problem is simple, said Director Russell Bartholomew.
Were just looking for volunteers, he said.
Most years the funding for the Salvation Armys Sullivan County chapter comes in part from the community and in part from the national organization.
The greatest portion is collected during the holiday season when folks are more likely to open their hearts and their wallets to the sound of a bell ringer at a Salvation Army kettle.
But the agency has sent out requests for bell ringers far and wide.
So far theyve come up with just two responses.
Thats not enough to raise money for the Thanksgiving dinner the group holds each November at the United Methodist Church on Broadway in Monticello. It isnt enough for the toy drives or the goodie baskets that are generally given out to needy families.
And money is very tight for fuel assistance 23 calls came in last week alone, and the program doesnt even begin until November.
They looked at the days last week with the snow, woke up and said, We need heat, Bartholomew said.
Help is on the way, but Bartholomew doesnt know how long that will last.
Hes looking for a helping hand from the community this year in the form of volunteers.
If I had volunteers, I could raise the money, he said.
Folks who could man kettles, especially at local grocery stores and Wal-Mart, are encouraged to call the Salvation Army at 794-2268.