Overwhelmed: Good way to start the new year“In River Falls, Salvation Army volunteers have been ringing their bells at ShopKo, EconoFoods and Dick’s Fresh Market.
By: Vera Roy-Stoeberl, River Falls Journal
“In River Falls, Salvation Army volunteers have been ringing their bells at ShopKo, EconoFoods and Dick’s Fresh Market.
“Local Salvation Army organizer Ed Paulson said it looks like donations won’t reach this year’s $32,000 goal.”
That’s how Editor Phil Pfuehler began a Dec. 18 Journal story that told of the charitable organization’s plight.
By the very end of 2008, however, Paulson’s outlook changed.
After the community learned of the shortage of contributions, local Salvation Army coffers were not only filled with enough money to reach the year-end goal, but close to $8,000 more was received.
Paulson reports a donated total of $39,983 to date.
Paulson says it was the Dec. 18 newspaper story that made the difference.
“It was that article that Phil wrote that just seemed to stir more giving,” said Paulson. “And the presence of the kettles at the stores.”
“I was overwhelmed,” he said about the community’s outpouring of generosity. “Individuals gave sizeable amounts and several area foundations came through as well.”
Paulson reported there were about 500 bell ringers this year who took turns at the three River Falls businesses.
“That’s a number that’s just right,” to complete the holiday bell ringing schedule, he said.
Paulson was happy with the way high school teacher Terri Steinmetz “took over” and almost completely filled in the EconoFood’s bell ringing schedule with students in the SOS (Students Offering Support) group.
Also, Jonah and Gina Mork, St. Bridget Catholic Church parishioners, took it upon themselves to fill other slots with volunteers from their congregation.
In addition to acknowledging them, Paulson said, “I want to thank (the owners and managers) of Dick’s Fresh Market, EconoFoods and ShopKo for letting us use their stores, and to Phil at the paper for writing such a good article.”
As chairman/treasurer of the Pierce County Service Extension of the Salvation Army, Paulson will continue to accept donations for the end-of-the-year fundraising campaign.
Persons can mail contributions to his local residence, 627 N. Grove St., or drop by his home and deliver them in person.
“I was surprised a couple of weeks ago when a young man in a car drove up to my house with his family, and came to the door with a check for $2,500,” said Paulson.
For more information or with questions, call Paulson at 425-0250.