Maj. Stephanie Thompson is a Corps Officer with the Salvation Army in Bangor.

The year 2022 has been an unprecedented time for this country and the whole world. Here in Maine our communities and businesses alike have had to make some hard decisions and our citizens have had to make choices that they never imagined they would. With increased prices on basic things such as food, gas and heating oil, this Christmas season will be difficult for many of our friends and neighbors.

Many families have used their savings to maintain the household. Now with Christmas approaching they have no Idea where the money to cover anything outside of basic needs is coming from. Thankfully they can contact the Salvation Army and with your help we can provide assistance with Christmas Gifts for their Children and help with the Holiday meal.

All of us hold a similar desire to be with our loved ones and share in the giving and celebration of this season together. For the past 150 years, the Salvation Army has been working to provide this for every member of our community.

Founded in 1865 in England by William Booth, an itinerant preacher, to provide religious services to the poor who were not welcomed in the local churches, the Salvation Army describes itself as an “international evangelical Christian movement with a strong social conscience.” This mission intersected with the Bangor community in 1885, and we have continued in our commitment to Doing The Most Good for those in most need.

The ringing of red kettle bells, service of hot meals, visits to area nursing homes and jails, distribution of Thanksgiving food baskets and Christmas gifts mark our seasonal and our year-round investment in community efforts to be a consistent resource for our neighbors.

Since 1973, the Bangor Daily News has sponsored the Santa’s Helper Fund, raising nearly $1 million in support of programs such as Christmas gifts for children, meals for the hungry, clothing, heating and housing assistance, as well as sending children to Camp Sebago over the summer and providing free music lessons to youth throughout the year.

Last year’s goal for Santa’s Helper was $50,000, which thanks to the Bangor Daily News and all who donated we met and exceeded that goal. The Salvation Army wants to thank all who participated in Last year’s Santa’s Helper.

This year’s goal is $50,000, which we know is possible with your help.

Past gifts have been by families, social groups, businesses, and individuals in the name of loved ones, in memory of cherished friends or pets, and even anonymously. Donations may be sent to Santa’s Helper Fund, The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1101, Bangor, ME 04402 or may be made online at nne.salvationarmy.org/bangor.