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April 15--  If you contributed to the local United Way this year, you'll be glad to know its agencies are using a computer tracking system to help avoid assistance abuse.

Sandy Roberts with the Salvation Army in Vidalia says "Charity Tracker" helps make sure those who really need assistance are being served.

"We have a data base now that shows us if the same people are going everywhere.   You really can't just tell another agency about a client, but with "Charity Tracker" they can just put a name in and the computer will tell them if they're in it.  It makes us better stewards of what we have to make sure those who really need help are getting it and the ones who are working the system aren't getting it so it's all gone when somebody who really needs it walks in," Roberts reports.

Right now Roberts says the Salvation Army food pantry is almost bare and she's hoping the United Way-Letter Carrier Food Drive in May will help her re-stock the shelves.

She's also asking that if you have any clothing, old applicances or furniture or almost anything, they need it for the Salvation Army Store on Jackson Street in Vidalia.  The store is one way they raise money to help people.

"There's a lot of families who would never come and ask for help, but they shop in our store.  They can buy kids clothes for $1.99 and their clothes for $2.99 and that helps them be able to afford to buy food and pay bills," she says.