SUNBURY — The Salvation Army’s Here. For Good. campaign exceeded the highest previous total on Thursday, making the 2020 campaign the biggest fundraising effort in the history of the program.
Joel Harris, Salvation Army community coordinator in the Sunbury and Milton offices, said the total of $147,771.72 is an inspiration since so many people are experiencing difficulty this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and state restrictions. The Salvation Army anticipated the spirit of giving may not be as strong this year due to those reasons.
"For lack of a better word, we are speechless," said Harris. "It was far better than we anticipated. I want to applaud the generosity of the people of the Susquehanna Valley amidst a global pandemic and so many financial uncertainties. It speaks volumes of the selflessness and compassion of the residents here."
The Here. For Good. campaign was not the only Salvation Army fundraiser to exceed expectations. The annual red kettle campaign fundraiser also exceeded its goal for the year.
"Just when you're not sure how you (as a nonprofit) are going to help people in need, the community continuously surprises us," Harris said. "We are really blown away."
Today's total is $147,771.72 thanks to $5,000 from the Guyer Foundation and $250 from Becky and Blair, of Lewisburg. The previous highest total was in 2013 with $145,128.
The campaign is a continuation of the Needy Family Fund that has raised more than $3.06 million since 1987 during the holidays to assist the Valley’s less fortunate. The campaign is administered by Salvation Army citadels in Milton and Sunbury and sponsored by The Daily Item, Sunbury Broadcasting Corp. and Mifflinburg Bank & Trust.
The Daily Item's Editor Dennis M. Lyons and Publisher Fred Scheller both offered their praise for the people of the Valley.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment and a testimony to the generosity of people in the Susquehanna Valley," said Lyons. "Setting the record in the midst of a pandemic shows just how much people and organizations here care.”
"Our neighbors have once again shown you can count on them during the most difficult of times," said Scheller. "I’m grateful to everyone who participated in this worthwhile cause."
The Charles B. Degenstein Foundation donated $10,000, the Charles and Betty Degenstein Foundation donated $7,600 and The 1994 Charles B. Degenstein Foundation already donated $50,000, which brings the donations from the three foundations up to $67,600 for 2020. The three Degenstein foundations have donated more than $607,000 since 1999 when they joined the annual campaign.
Donors can make checks payable to Here. For Good. campaign and mail or drop them off at any location of program co-sponsor Mifflinburg Bank & Trust. Donors can also make any deposited donation or mail a check to 250 E. Chestnut St., Mifflinburg, PA, 17844, or donate online at www.hereforgoodcampaign.org.