On November 18, the !mpact and Aktion outreach clubs, of the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities, helped welcome the holiday season by participating in the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps., Annual Red Kettle Fundraiser.
“The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign is a staple of the holiday season, and locally that means a lot of fun hours of volunteering for the !mpact and Aktion teams. The team volunteers at various sites and with many local organizations throughout the year, including the Salvation Army’s daily lunch program,” said Community Relations Coordinator, Lori McNelly. “But the Red Kettle Campaign is the biggest fundraising event the !mpact and Aktion crews undertake.”
Individual Support Facilitator and Outreach Program Coordinator, KC Chatfield said, “Running the outreach program has been a life changing experience for me. It’s helped me to look for the positive in people, and helped me realize that we are all the same. I tell everybody I just drive the bus, these guys and gals they are the driving force.”
With over 60 hours of bell ringing this season, the Board of DD assisted the Salvation Army in raising $13,500 as of Christmas Eve, reaching one eighth of the organization’s annual fundraising goal.
“They feel great about themselves. They’ve always wanted to help, and this is something that they’ve never got the opportunity to do before…now they do,” Chatfield explained with pride. “A lot of these folks work; they have jobs either within our program or out in the community. They have jobs, but they take their time outside of their jobs to do this. If they didn’t want to participate, help their community, or make a difference in their home, it wouldn’t work.”
However, their work doesn’t end with the Christmas season. With KC’s experience as a DJ, combined with his background in radio, the groups participate in music outreach at 16 local nursing and rehabilitation facilities, as well as many others.
“They sing along with songs, they dance, they play air guitar, and just have a good time,” said Chatfield.
“We’ve also adopted a historic site on Route 104. We go out and pick up trash, year round, weather permitting,” Chatfield explained. “We’ve also co-adopted some of the city’s parks, and help keep those clean when we can. We also do a reading program, where we go to elementary schools and read to the kindergartners and youngsters. If someone needs help with something and it’s within our realm, we go out and do it. We stay busy, we’re out on the road.”
The !mpact and Aktion Clubs ringing bells for donations.
The !mpact and Aktion clubs greeting customers at Portsmouth Kroger.