Help Valley residents in need this Holiday season with the Needy Family Fund

By Justin Strawser

The Daily Item

SUNBURY — The Salvation Army and its local partners are excited to kick off the 2017 Needy Family Fund for those Valley residents in need this holiday season.

Since 1987, The Needy Family Fund, sponsored by The Daily Item, Sunbury Broadcasting Corp. and BB&T Bank, along with the Degenstein Foundations, has raised more than $2.7 million during the holidays to assist the Valley’s less fortunate. It is administered by Salvation Army citadels in Milton and Sunbury.

You can go to for more information on families who stand to benefit from your generous contribution to the Feedy Family Fund.

“We have a community that cares,” said Salvation Army Capt. Scott Duperree. “They’re paying attention, they’re picking up the paper and looking at the news media, they’re seeing how they can help and how they can lend a helping hand. As long as we have people like that in the community, we’re going to be OK.”

Last year, the Needy Family Fund raised $107,825. In 2015, the campaign raised $133,258, the second highest single year amount since it began in 1987. The 2015 drive, aided by a $25,000 challenge grant from the Degenstein Foundations once a $75,000 goal was met, became the most successful one since 2013, when $145,128 was raised.

The 2017 goal, as it has been since 2005, is $75,000. The Degenstein Foundation has donated more than $400,000 since 1999, when it joined the annual campaign.

“The Needy Family Fund shines a light on what the Salvation Army is doing in the community and with the partnerships with media outlets,” Duperree said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for people to see all the help we’re giving throughout the year.”

The Needy Family Fund is the biggest fundraiser of the year, he said.

The Daily Item’s Publisher Frank Leto and Editor Dennis M. Lyons are both excited to be a part of the program again this year.

“The Daily Item is proud to continue our support of the Needy Family Fund,” Leto said. “I want to thank our partners and the community for the generous support they have shown over the years.”

“One of the great things about living in the Susquehanna Valley is the way neighbors take care of each other,” Lyons said. “This program provides a great opportunity to help those in need. We are very glad to be part of it and know the community will once again be ready to pitch in.”

Roger S. Haddon, president and CEO of Sunbury Broadcasting Corp., agreed.

“For decades now, The Daily Item and Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation have been working with The Salvation Army to help those who otherwise would go without during the holidays,” Haddon said. “It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and forget those less fortunate. In many cases, it’s helping neighbors who have simply caught a bad break. Our hope is that, once again, The Needy Family Fund receives a generous outpouring of support so that we may make the holidays brighter for those enduring hard times.”

Brittany Stuck, a cluster market leader at BB&T who coordinates the Needy Family Fund on the bank’s end, said the program is a way for the community to give back and help those who are struggling.

“We have the chance to make the community around us a better place to live and work by helping those who need it,” Stuck said. “It also shows the organizational teamwork between the Salvation Army and local businesses such as WKOK and 94KX radio stations, The Daily Item and BB&T with our dedication to a noble cause.”

People can make checks payable to The Daily Item Fund for Needy Families and mail or drop them off to program co-sponsor BB&T Bank, 400 Market St., Sunbury, PA 17801. Donors can also visit any local BB&T branch where they will process the deposited donation, mail a check to the 400 Market St. branch or donate online through

“The website allows for debit or credit card transactions and mails a check for the funds on a recurring basis directly to the Salvation Army which we then can add to the account totals,” Stuck said. “Previously we had a credit card machine at the Market Street branch to take transactions over the phone however the machine was very outdated and not up with current technology so cost effectiveness of continuing to use that machine was simply not there. The online portal makes it easy, simple, and fast to process for anyone anywhere and I can see updates daily to include them in the totals.”

Email Justin Strawser at Follow him on Twitter @JustinLStrawser.

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