Salvation Army holiday programs underway

By Wayne Allen - [email protected]

Leaders and volunteers with the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps, have been busy over the last few weeks, seeking to ensure the success of their holiday programs. During this time of year the local Salvation Army has, it’s annual Red Kettle Campaign and other programs aimed at helping local families in need.

Jeremiah Eisley, of the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps., said the goal of this year’s Red Kettle Campaign is $80,000.

“Things have gone wonderfully. I was blown away on the first day, we stood at the Kroger locations, Deemer’s Super Market, Kmart, Blackburn’s Food Fuel and Pharmacy and we raised over $1,600,” Eisley said.

He said if they are able to achieve the campaign goal, the funds generated will go a long way. Proceeds help fund various programs and activities of the corps.

Eisley said any monetary amount dropped in the kettles can go a long way.

“I think people underestimate the power that a few coins. We take it all (donations) and it goes far,” Eisley said.

He said 83 cents of every dollar donated, goes into direct services into the community.

One of the ministries the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps provides to the community is a meal Monday through Friday.

Eisley said they recently had turkey dinners available for people that needed them around Thanksgiving.

He said it’s not unusual for 140 meals to be served on any given day.

“Hunger is one of those hidden problems. We see the statistics (on hunger) all of the time, but we see faces here and it’s a very grim reality for people. We’re thankful the generosity of the community, enables us to meet that need, as that need shows up on our doorstep,” Eisley said.

As Christmas approaches the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps, is gearing to help roughly 300 area families who applied for assistance.

He said the number of families seeking assistance from the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps has leveled off. He said every year there are families requesting assistance for the first time.

“It’s the last place (Salvation Army requesting assistance) they want to be and we know that. We want to make this as dignified and helpful to people as we can,” Eisley said.

As a part of it’s holiday programming the Salvation Army establishes Angel Trees in area businesses around the community. The trees are decorated with tags, which include names and desired gifts of area child in need.

“We try to provide to the best of our ability, toys for children in every household under the age of 12 and also a full Christmas dinner in accordance with the size of the family,” Eisley said.

He said people will pick a tag or tags from the tree, purchase the items requested and turn them into the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army will ensure the gifts get to the correct child.

Eisley said one the biggest questions the Salvation Army gets about the Angel Tree Program is, what happens to the tags not chosen. He said part of the proceeds from the Kettle Campaign helps to fill that gap and toys are purchased for those kids.

For more information about the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps visit them at 1001 Ninth Street, Portsmouth or call 740-353-2400 or find them on Facebook.

By Wayne Allen

[email protected]

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101 ext. 1933 or @WayneAllenPDT on Twitter