Volunteer Joan Knisely bore witness to the needy to whom Hastings Salvation Army has been providing assistance for 120 years: "I've seen a lot of different types of people that have needed help that have just kind of fallen to the wayside, especially with the economy the way it has been, and people just not being able to make their utilities, or being able to do what needed to be done to survive."
Beverly Young has been among those needy. Now she volunteers to help others in need, ever grateful to the Hastings Salvation Army: "...Wasn't for them, I wouldn't know what to do sometimes."
Gratitude was in the air Wednesday, gratitude for a generosity of spirit that has become something of a trademark.
Despite their famous brass band, Hastings Salvation Army staff members don't like to toot their own horn, but those in the community say they've been a vital part of the fabric of the city for over a century.
From pioneer days to the present, Hastings Salvation Army history was displayed in celebration of the 120 years of service that has become a familiar sight, especially during the holidays.
Major Ronda Tamayo: "At Christmas time we still put our kettles out, and have our bell ringers."
Years have flown by, but the poor still depend on the assistance of the Salvation Army.
Ronda Tamayo: "With the economy we're finding more people coming in for the need. We're finding people that used to be our donors that are coming in for assistance. Yeah, it's gone up quite a bit."
In recognition of their service, Major Abe Tamayo and Major Ronda Tamayo were commissioned by the Governor as Admirals in the "Nebraska Navy." Folks here hope Hastings Salvation Army will remain for many a year to come."
Joan Knisely: "At least 120 more, if not more."