By RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
Members of the Portsmouth Elks Lodge No. 154 took turns Friday ringing bells at Kroger in Portsmouth to collect donations for The Salvation Army.
“The Elks, this past year, had a national policy change to support local charities instead of going out across the United States. This was very encouraging to local Lodge members,” said Tom Hester of Lucasville, a Loyal Knight of the Portsmouth Elks.
The Elks Lodge has helped find grants for the Vern Riffe School in Portsmouth, and they have a Christmas Giving Tree inside local churches with the names of needy children hanging upon it. Last week, the club donated its hall on Fourth Street in Portsmouth for a special Thanksgiving dinner to feed under privileged citizens.
“It’s just one of the things we like to do to give back to the community, because the community treats us quite well,” Hester said.
Dressed in red and wearing a festive Santa hat, Hester was ringing bells Friday morning at Portsmouth Kroger. He said 10 Elks members were taking turns, each spending an hour at Kroger for The Salvation Army.
“People have always been good (to donate at Kroger),” he said. “And what we collect here for The Salvation Army stays here, and that’s important. We like to support charities like that.”
Mark Ferreira of The Salvation Army said there is one sure way people in the community can help.
“The easiest way for people to help this time of year is to put their spare change in the kettle,” Ferreira said. “That is the simplest way for people to help. If you’re looking for a way to do more, we have a lot of people who do canned food drives, or give a little themselves. The simplest way is money. We are also always in need of furniture, clothing donations, household items for our thrift store. ”
Ferreira said the money raised at their thrift store supports the local operation.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or email@example.com.