Salvation Army, ministerial alliance partner

By Sarah Meyer: PNT Staff Writer

The Salvation Army is partnering with the Portales Ministerial Alliance to raise funds this holiday season.

Volunteers under the direction of the ministerial alliance will ring bells and “collect funds to be used for benevolence in this county,” said Dave McVey, president of the ministerial alliance and pastor of Central Christian Church in Portales.

“The money in the kettles will all stay right here,” he said. “The Salvation Army is mobilizing us to help the community.”

The ministerial alliance helps people with a variety of needs, including utility bills, prescription medicines, meals, sometimes emergency gasoline, temporary shelter for people in abusive situations and temporary shelter for transients, McVey said.

In the past, churches have provided the funds to meet these needs, he said. Special offerings on the National Day of Prayer and at the Thanksgiving Community Service add to the fund.

Maj. Ron McKay of the Salvation Army said Portales is one of about 30 communities in New Mexico with an arrangement similar to the new agreement.

“We want the Salvation Army funds to get down to the people,” he said.

Last year all the money collected in Portales went to Clovis and a portion of it came back, McKay said.

“Portales is kind of outside of the system,” he said.

Bell ringers will work two-hour shifts from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Russell’s Super Save and at Wal-Mart beginning Friday and continuing through Christmas Eve, McVey said.

“Hopefully we’ll get a good fund to work with to help people this winter,” he said.