Army lends a hand

| 29 Sep 2011 | 09:22

WESTFALL - The Salvation Army has come to the aid of some children and parents by helping with back-to-school costs. Women’s Auxiliary of the Port Jervis army chapter met at K-Mart last week to give $25 gift cards to 25 children of nine families that needed a helping hand. The gift cards were to purchase supplies or clothing. Jennifer Vankleeck said, “I came to the Salvation Army to get some help with my utility bills and they helped me out. They told me about this program so I signed my two daughters up. I’m thankful for the help.” Vankleeck came to K-Mart with her two daughters Deann, 10 ½, and Brook, 9, to do a little shopping courtesy of the Salvation Army. Deann, a 5th grader, and her sister Brook, a 4th grader at the Anna S. Kuhl Elementary School in Port Jervis, were waiting anxiously to get started shopping as other families arrived. Brook said, “I’m gonna get clothes,” while Deann said she would get share her money between school supplies and clothes. “It may not be much but when you’re having a tough time with money every little bit counts,” said a grateful Vankleeck. She went on to say, “School starts on Sept. 5 and I have so much to get and this will be a good start.” Allyson Gillinder President of the Ladies Auxiliary handed out K-Mart gift cards to the moms and also had a Salvation Army helper to go with each of them. Lori Laidlaw, Salvation Army pastor, was Vankleeck’s helper and went with her as she and the girls shopped. It didn’t take Deann much time to spend her gift card on just one outfit. She picked out a three piece outfit and she only had $2 left for school supplies. When mom asked her, “What about school supplies?” Deann just shrugged her shoulders. The other families, some with their children and some without, all were given gift cards, and headed out into the aisles to begin their little school shopping. To contact the Port Jervis Salvation Army for help or to make a donation call 845-856-3214.