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COLUMBIA CITY â Pat Mossburg, with the Salvation Army of Whitley County, picks up the phone in her office several times a day, taking calls from people dealing with life-changing situations. Whether assisting families with rent or simply offering a comforting ear to listen, Mossburg has a caring heart for the community.
âItâs unbelievable how many people are hurting, and how many I have to turn down because you get âXâ amount of dollars that come in and there is only so much you can do with it,â said Mossburg. âMoney is tight.â
Since the Salvation Army of Whitley Countyâs funding was cut, the organization has until July 1 to meet the need of a program called âMy Sole Purpose.â
This program assists children in need, supplying them with new shoes as the school year begins. It also accepts donations for backpacks.
âEveryone can do a little something, even if itâs just a dollar or a even a quarter,â said Mossburg. âI would probably cry and embrace someone who walked in the door and gave me a dollar because I know where it goes.â
The goal for âMy Sole Purposeâ is $8,500. In just a week, the community has donated over $700.
âJust to meet that need for the shoes, we just need another $3,300,â said Mossburg. âWe have a good start.â
Fifteen dollars is all is takes to adopt a child in the âMy Sole Purposeâ program. Children in need can come to the Salvation Army office and pick up a voucher for these shoes.
Businesses can partner with the Salvation Army and display the shoe cut-outs in their store windows.
Mossburg said individuals are also encouraged to support the backpack program by giving an extra $5.
âMaybe we donât reach our goal, and we only help 50 kids, but that will make a difference in their lives,â said Mossburg.
Mossburg recently came up with an idea, called âPitch In,â to further the fundraising efforts.
âIâve been asking well known people in the community to stand out in front of like Shoe Show with a boot, and have their family and friends and people in the community come, and whichever person raises the most money, weâll give them some notoriety,â said Mossburg. Currently, she has two hours booked, but Mossburg welcomes more help.
âPitch Inâ will be held June 23 from 9 to 3 a.m.
Over the past few years, she has also noticed a growing need for volunteers to ring bells at Christmas time.
âRinging bells is where we make about 90 percent of our money in the year,â said Mossburg. âEvery hour someone can volunteer is so important to whether we will still be here in the future.â
The Salvation Army of Whitley County is located at the First Church of God at P.O. Box 881, Columbia City, Ind. 46725. For more information on how to donate or volunteer, call 248-1711.
More information on how local businesses can help include the following instructions from Mossburg:
Sponsor A Child
Encourage your employees to sponsor a child. Just $15 outfits a child in need with new shoes. $20 provides a backpack too.
âI Flip-Flopped for âMy Sole Purpose!â
Encourage your employees to make a donation and, in exchange, they get to wear flip-flops or sandals on a particular day.
âBlues for Shoes!â
Encourage your employees to make a donation and, in exchange, they get to wear blue jeans on a designated day. This fundraising idea is great for Fridays or the last day of the month.
âPennies for Piggies!â
Encourage your employees to drop their spare change in a designated container at their workplace. This fundraising idea is great for week-long or even month-long donation drives. Challenge departments or management teams to see who can raise the most funds in the set period of time.
âPennies from Heavenâ
Encourage youth groups to donate change for children. Perhaps inspire them to fill a shoe from home with change to bring in.