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Salvation Army extends hand: Families hit by Cummins Inc., Dolly Madison job loss focus of effort

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The Columbus office of the Salvation Army wants to extend a special helping hand to workers from Cummins Inc. and Dolly Madison hit by job loss in recent weeks.

About 200 workers at the bakery lost jobs Friday when the business on National Road closed when parent company Hostess Brands closed after a strike.

Cummins announced last month that about 150 workers would be laid off from among its three southern Indiana plants — the Fuel Systems Plant in Columbus, the Columbus MidRange Engine Plant and the Seymour Engine plant.

Leaders of the church and social service agency are extending the deadline until Nov. 30 to register for its Angel Tree outreach that gives children of struggling families clothes and toys and also offers food for everyone.

“Our hearts go out to all of them,” said Lt. Alan Sladek, who leads the local ministry with his wife, Lt. Jodi Sladek.

“We know this may hurt others’ feelings (because they got no extension).

“But we feel like losing your job at Christmas time hurts a lot worse than that.”

Jodi Sladek said a final pay stub or some sort of worker identification would be required for verification. Registration for the Angel Tree program can be done only by going to the Salvation Army office, 2525 Illinois St.

Clothes and toys vary according to the number of youngsters from newborn to age 15, according to Alan Sladek.

He said a food basket that includes items for a Christmas meal is worth about $80.

It also includes enough food for a breakfast or lunch the day after the holiday, he said.

Last year, 412 youngsters got help from the Angel Tree program.

This year, 512 youngsters already are registered, according to Jodi Sladek.

For those wanting to help, Angel Trees holding family needs are located at both Walmart locations, FairOaks Mall, Sears, Total Fitness, Hamilton Center ice rink, White River Broadcasting and Vanity Fair in Edinburgh.

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