Working to make mission real

Officials with the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps are approaching 2017 with renewed vision of bringing the mission of the Salvation Army to life, locally.

Jeremiah Eisley, Coprs Officer with the Salvation Army in Portsmouth said the mission of the Salvation Army is lived out locally by providing programs and services aimed at helping those in need.

The Salvation Army recently concluded its annual Red Kettle Collection Campaign. The campaign took place over the holidays with the goal of raising enough money to support the programs and activities for the corps for the next year.

A goal was set of $80,000 for the Red Kettle Collection Campaign locally.

“Unfortunately we did not meet our $80,000 goal, but we did collect $10,000 dollars than we did last year. This year the total collection was $73,239.82,” Eisley said.

He called the amount collected, amazing.

“That’s close to $11,000 more than we collected last year. This is even, more money that goes towards the cause addressing hunger and also going towards children’s programs for the coming year. It’s very good news, I’m very pleased,” Eisley said.

The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps offers programming aimed at helping those seeking heat during the cold days and night.

“We do have a cold weather station, that’s set up when the county declares an (snow) emergency. We try to have a cold weather station setup, any night it goes below 25 degrees,” Eisley said. “As the weather is getting colder, that’s available for people who have found themselves out on the street.”

He said the cold weather station is opened in cooperation with the county.

“In the past, the (Scioto County) sheriff (deputies) have brought people to us or referred people to us, for that service,” Eisley said. “If anyone is interested in how they could help, the cost of keeping the building heated and occupied, during those night time hours.”

He said one of the ongoing needs of the corps is funding to cover the cost of the cold weather station.

“These ongoing utility costs is what really pinches us. We don’t want to divert funds that would otherwise go to food and children’s programs, to pay heating of this drafty building,” Eisley said. “When people come in from the outside, we want them to be comfortable and any money donated towards that (opening and maintaining cold weather stations) also goes towards food, we try to make sure they are sent off with food in their bellies.”

Eisley said it costs the corps roughly $1,000 a month in utility and other costs, during the cold weather months.

“For a lot of folks that are homeless, this (cold weather station) is usually the only reprieve they get from the biting wind,” Eisley said.

He said having the cold weather stations is something the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps is important.

For more information about the programs and services of the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps visit them at 1001 Ninth Street in Portsmouth or call 740-353-2400 or visit them on Facebook.

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