Salvation Army holds 7th Santa Fund event

The Salvation Army is beginning its seventh Santa Fund event. The Santa Fund is a joint partnership between the Salvation Army and the Williamsport Sun-Gazette to raise awareness of the needs within the community.

Letters to Santa, written by Salvation Army employees, will be featured daily from the week of Thanksgiving until Christmas in the Lifestyle section.

Letter writers will include Captain Debbie Engle, co-commanding officer of the Salvation Army; Tony Perrotta, public relations and program and fund development director; and Amy McGovern, social services supervisor. It also is the hope of the Salvation Army that a few of the stories will be written by volunteers of the organization.

This is the second year the letters will be published in the Sun-Gazette. They feature stories of local families, with the names changed to protect their identity. The letters also feature personal thoughts and experiences from the writers.

Perrotta said last year’s Santa Fund was very well received and provided awareness of programs and services offered by the Salvation Army.

“Funds raised from last year’s event totaled $1,312,” Perrotta said. “Less than previous years, but the impact with the Santa Fund stories cannot be measured by dollars alone. The stories presented have made a positive impact.”

An account was created at M&T Bank to help collect the funds. Donations may be dropped off or mailed into the following locations: M&T Bank, 405 River Ave.; Salvation Army, 457 Market St.; or the Williamsport Sun-Gazette office, 252 W. Fourth St., Williamsport, PA 17701.

Money raised through the Santa Fund helps to provide families in need with a Christmas dinner and clothes and toys to children ages 12 and younger.

“Our primary motivation and hopes for the upcoming Santa Fund stories will be continued awareness of programs and services provided by the Salvation Army to those in need within our community, as well as providing much needed financial support,” Perrotta said.

In the past six years, more than $20,000 has been raised through the Santa Fund for the Salvation Army, according to Perrotta.

Santa Fund is just one of the many fundraising activities offered by the Salvation Army. It also operates two thrift stores, one in Newberry and one in Pennsdale. Also, this time of year brings the bell ringing Red Kettle drive to many locations throughout the county.

For more information, visit or search Salvation Army in Williamsport on Facebook.