Meeting need at the point of need - that's the goal of The Salvation Army.

One vital link in our chain of help is our Service Extension Units. These are service arms of The Salvation Army which function in communities where there is no Salvation Army Corps/church. Each Service Unit is administered by a Committee of Volunteers that believes in the mission of The Salvation Army and personally want to assist in maintaining the Army's link of love in their community. The Salvation Army has a Service Center located at the First United Methodist Church in Towanda. Families/Individuals needing emergency assistance can contact The Salvation Army at (570) 265-5932. In order to avoid duplication of services The Salvation Army units are responsible for providing assistance to families within designated zip codes. Those living in the Valley can contact The Salvation Army in Sayre, Pa.

Highly flexible, The Salvation Army Service Extension Unit program helps to serve the "neediest of the needy" through a network of volunteers who work from their homes, businesses or churches and are interested in the spiritual, moral and physical well-being of others; applying their own personal commitment to The Salvation Army's Mission by bringing emergency year round help to their neighbors in need.

The Salvation Army provides emergency and crisis assistance to families needing help paying their rent/mortgage, food, clothing, furniture, heat and utilities. In addition to emergency assistance, The Salvation Army provides gifts to children at Christmas. The question is often asked "How can I help." The following volunteer opportunities available.

- Volunteer Bell Ringer

- Adopt A Family for Christmas

- Host a new Toy/Clothing Drive

- Start an online Red Kettle to benefit your community (www.onlineredkettle.org)

- Daily volunteers are needed to work in our Service Center. (answering the phone and scheduling appointments)

- Committee Members to serve in different program and fiscal capacities.

- Help prepare Christmas Food Boxes.

- Donate food for food boxes.

The Salvation Army Service Extension provided emergency/crisis assistance to 1,434 families, 1,926 people last year. The types of services provided where lodging, transportation, clothing and shoes, rent, food and fuel and utility assistance. Thirty-two children attended summer camp at The Salvation Army Camp Ladore, One hundred and ten children received new back-to-school clothing and 89 families received Christmas assistance. The cost of the assistance was $77,767.94. This assistance was possible because of the generosity of the residents and companies living in Bradford County. The Salvation Army would not be able to do the work we do without the financial support of the local community.

Our Red Kettle Campaign is essential to our programs and services we provide in Bradford County. The Salvation Army is in need of volunteer kettle workers. Please contact The Salvation Army at (570) 265-5932 to become a volunteer bell ringer. Volunteers are needed throughout the county. If you wish to make a donation to The Salvation Army Service Extension donations can be mailed to the First United Methodist Church, 103 Main St., Towanda, PA 18848.

This article was submitted by Betty Ellen Barrett, regional manager with The Salvation Army.