By Wayne Allen
Jeremiah Eisley and Kathryn (Furman) Eisley were recently appointed as the new leadership of the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps. The Eisley’s recently arrived in town to assume their new duties.
When asked about their experience thus far, Jeremiah Eisley said.”it was kind of like coming home. I’ve lived in a small town next to a river, so it’s already feeling like home.”
Jeremiah Eisley said since coming to the Portsmouth area everyone has been very welcoming.
He said they have hit the ground running of a few upcoming event and activities including Christmas in July.
“When we came in they were in the middle of planing process for Christmas in July. Which is a kettle standing operation during the summer months to promote kettle standing at Christmas time as well as to cover some current costs of community assistance,” Jeremiah Eisley said. “That (Christmas in July) will be kicking off next week and will last for about two weeks.This also serves as a reminder that the need is not only around Christmas time, it’s all year long.”
Jeremiah Eisley said through the various outreach programs of the Salvation Army locally they serve roughly a thousand meals a week locally.
It was announced in May that Mark and Elizabeth Ferreira. current leaders of The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps were being reassigned to Hempstead, New York to be trained for service in rehabilitation ministries.
As far as bring new programs to the area, Jeremiah Eisley said, “fortunately the salvation army is set up so that certain standard procedures for operating are uniform. But, each community has it’s own interpretation of that and each community is unique as far as need.”
Jeremiah Eisley said they have found the people of Portsmouth very willing to help if not their money then their time.
“There is a phenomenon known as the hidden homeless. It’s common in smaller communities because the name implies you don’t see it as much, but we see it everyday,” Jeremiah Eisley said. “That may be a surprise to a lot of people that we have homeless people in Portsmouth. We came in understanding that is a reality and it goes beyond the classic image of a man sleeping on the iron grate on the sidewalk.”
Kathryn Eisley said it’s the goal of the Salvation Army to help as many people as it can. She said they are also looking into forming partnerships with area organizations such as Shawnee State University.
For more information about the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps visit them on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT