12/19/07 — Low collections make for tougher holiday for charity

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Low collections make for tougher holiday for charity

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 19, 2007 1:45 PM

Maj. Andrew Wiley remembers when local residents would show up at his William Street office weeks before Christmas with cash, checks and presents for needy families.

But that "just has not happened" this year.

In fact, Goldsboro's Salvation Army commander said the organization is still $18,000 under its 2007 goal of $60,000 -- and much of the money that has come in was used for Tuesday's Christmas gift giveaway.

"We're not there yet," Wiley said. "It's going to be close."

People just don't have extra cash to spare this year, he added.

"The economy is tough, and gas prices are hurting people," he said. "There isn't much we can do about that."

Still, the major hopes and believes there are still some out in the community with something to give.

So for the remainder of the year, he will try to orchestrate a "big push" -- one he said could translate into heat and electricity for families who would otherwise be without.

Money left over from Tues-day's event goes toward providing emergency services to local residents, Wiley said.

"When families are faced with a serious illness or death, things can turn around in a hurry," he said. "Maybe they had a high-paying job and could provide, but then there's a sudden layoff and now they can't."

So he will do his part to convince the community that giving -- even during trying times -- is still possible.

And maybe, if enough people see the need, even the saddest stories will turn around.

"We've got to have a really good push this week to make it happen," Wiley said. "It can happen."