The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps set a goal of raising $80,000 though its annual Kettle Bell Campaign in 2015. There was a total of $60,293.46 raised, officials with the corps remain optimistic about 2016.
“It’s almost $10,000 more than we made last year, so we are happy about that. It’s not quite the $80,000, but we know that reflects the economic downturn,” Jeremiah Eisley, Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps Officer said.
Although they did not reach their goal Eisley said, programs and activities of the corps will continue.
Funds raised through the kettle campaign supplements the corps budget.
“Roughly $15,000 of it (money raised through the Kettle Campaign) was used for Christmas time assistance. That may have been the purchasing of toys, food and any kind of direct assistance offered around Christmas time,” Eisley said.
Approximately 200 families and 400 children were assisted through the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps Christmas Assistance Program in 2015.
Some of the programs the kettle funds support include a Monday-Friday meal program.
“The money that goes into the kettle, helps supplement the costs of purchasing food, equipping the kitchen and making sure the heat is on,” Eisley said.
As Mother Nature moved into the area on Monday the Salvation Army opened their doors to serve as a warming station for those in need.
“We had a couple people, who are living on the streets take advantage of that (warming station),” Eisley said.
He said although the need to give to those in need is magnified around Christmas, the overall need is constant throughout the year.
“What we raised this year is not quite what we needed, so there will be some times this year that we know we will be making it by the skin of our teeth. We are going to have to pull ourselves up by our boot straps to make sure people get the help that they need,” Eisley said. “We’re excited about the new year because, what people gave during Christmas along with what is supplemented by the endowment we received. We’re looking forward to a very exciting chapter of the Salvation Army here in Portsmouth.”
In addition to a constant need for funding the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps could always use a few more volunteers.
“A lot of people think about volunteering around Christmas time, but we need people who are willing to cook and serve during our meal program. We need people who are willing to help assist in the thrift store and a variety of other roles,” Eisley said.
For more information about or ways to volunteer call the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps at 740-353-2400 or visit them on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT