Christmas in July Raises More than $17,000
Matthew Pochily of the Tidwater (Virginia) Command tells the Daily Press how their summer fundraising will benefit the Army’s efforts for the rest of the year.
Salvation Army branches throughout Hampton Roads raised nearly $17,400 during their first Christmas in July campaign last month, officials said Tuesday.
The economic downturn prompted the philanthropic organization to bring out its iconic bell ringers and red kettles, which are usually reserved for the Christmas season, during the summer to raise money.
Each branch recruited volunteers to stand in front of Farm Fresh stores on each Saturday last month to ring bells and collect donations. The money raised was to go toward a program designed by each branch.
Salvation Army branches in Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, Newport News and Hampton raised $8,660 during the campaign.
More than $2,700 of that money will go toward the Veteran Transitional Housing program run by the Virginia Peninsula Command, which represents Newport News, Hampton, Gloucester and lower York County. The program provides housing for homeless veterans, said Matthew Pochily, spokesman for the Tidewater Command, which serves Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach. He said the remainder of the money will go to programs in the Tidewater Command.
Williamsburg’s branch raised about $5,300 for its Apple Tree program, which provides clothing and school supplies for underprivileged children, Pochily said.
Meanwhile, Gloucester raised a little more than $3,400 for a variety of programs, officials said.
by Tyra M. Vaughn
Daily Press Newspaper
Newport News, Virginia