Head the ring of the bell

Staff Writer
Washington Times-Reporter

Cold weather is approaching, and that means the familiar red kettles and clanging bells of the Salvation Army are not far off.

Those bells and kettles remind us of how good many of us have it, and should act as a beaon to help those who are not so well off. This year, there are many more people who fall into the not- doing-so-well category. 

Sid and Flo Banwart have graciously stepped forward to act as co-chairs of this year’s Tree of Lights Campaign for the Heartland Division of the Salvation Army.

The economy, overall, is not sparkling around here. The Banwarts acknowledge that. But, the couple said, recently, they are not worried about falling short of the goal, which will be announced Nov. 12. The reason for their optimism — they believe the well of generosity in the Greater Peoria Area is still full.

“The needs of the people the Salvation Army helps are greatest now. I grew up in rural Iowa. One of the things I remember is spirited generosity as I grew up,” Sid said.

Sid said he believes earnestly that as the economy has gone downhill, people have reacted by spending less of their disposable income and increasing their savings.

“If that is true, maybe with the right kind of appeal, the money to help others will be made available. Part of our job is to remind people that there are needs,” Sid said.

Flo added, “I haven’t seen anything to indicate that people here are being stingy.”

The couple said they do not believe the job ahead will be too difficult. Let us all hope they are right.

The funds raised in the Tree of Lights Campaign provide holiday assistance and support for various programs that assist the poor.

“We are extremely pleased that Sid and Flo have agreed to take on the challenge of this year’s Tree of Lights Campaign,” said Major Charles Smith, divisional commander. “It is still a tough economy, with many challenges facing us, and we know that Sid and Flo will do a great job of leading this vitally important campaign. They have great servant hearts, and we look forward to working with them throughout these next months.”

Many in the Greater Peoria Area have the great servant hearts of which Smith spoke. A donation to the Tree of Lights Campaign is an investment in your neighbors. Offer your neighbors a helping hand through a donation.

When we help our neighbors we help ourselves.