Charity Giveaways

By: Shane Symolon Email
By: Shane Symolon Email

Valley residents have been giving to bell ringers, toy drives, and other charities but how do they know the gifts are going to those who need it most?

Every year, Joan Gilmer at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Staunton is handing out more food boxes. This year, she's got more than 100.

She says she makes sure the people receiving the food aren't doubling up with another charitable organization so the giving can be spread around.

"When I get my list together, I talk with Salvation Army to make sure we're not duplicating and that’s how we screen them at the time," says Gilmer.

Capt. David May with the Salvation Army says many Staunton charity groups trade lists in the same way and that people go through a thorough screening process.

"Proof of their own identity, proof that they are responsible for the children they are applying for and they have to bring proof of their income and need so we can document and authenticate those things," says May.

Not all groups share those lists, which means people could be double dipping into the community's charitable pockets.

Warren Kalas, with Toys for Tots, says they don't share their list with the Salvation Army, because their operations are too large.

"It's not worth the time and the effort really. I don't think the percentage of people being called is that great, and if they're doing that, they're in need," says Kalas.

While Kalas says most people who receive gifts are honorable, he says some could take advantage.

He says, "What they're taking is being denied another kid."

Both organizations say the most important thing is to get help to the people who need it. Toys for Tots is still collecting toys until the end of this week.


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