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The evidence of leaner times showed up in the most current totals, according to Margaret Burton, treasurer of the Richmond Salvation Army.
“They’re quite a bit more than normal,” Burton said as she turned in the following Christmas assistance figures.
The Salvation Army in Richmond served 147 seniors with baskets and gift cards. Food baskets, turkeys and gift cards were issued to 141 families and 308 children received gifts. A total of 1,232 items were handed out to assist people in this community.
“This is an increase in numbers of people needing assistance,” said Burton. “We had to start giving gift cards Monday, because we ran out of food boxes, and we’re not done yet.”
These numbers were turned in around noon on Tuesday, Dec. 23, and Burton acknowledged more will seek assistance before the end of the year.
Year-to-date numbers currently show 3,504 total people received assistance in 2008. Included in this number are 1,983 individual cases that received assistance with rent or utilities. Commodities issued totaled 1,721.
The Kettle Campaign continued through Christmas Eve. The Richmond Kiwanis collected $376.01 during their portion of the kettle campaign and voted on Tuesday to match that.
The Salvation Army thanks the many organizations and people that braved the cold weather to ring the bells, and those that dug deep into less abundant pockets this year to help the people here. As of Wednesday morning, Dec. 24, they had collected $20,458.72 of the $25,000 necessary to provide assistance in 2009.