Salvation Army receives $6.8 million endowment

By Wayne Allen

Officials with the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps have received a $6.8 million endowment. The endowment will be used to enhance programming and service to the community.

The endowment was left to the Salvation Army from the estate of Madeline A. Wertz.

Jeremiah Eisley, lieutenant with the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps, explained, “Wertz, a life-long Portsmouth resident, passed away about two years ago. When Madeline was a little girl, her parents ran into some hard times. Although we do not know the particulars, we do know that Madeline’s parents needed help, and they found this help at the Portsmouth corps of The Salvation Army.”

Shortly after Wertz passed, The Salvation Army was notified that Madeline had left her estate to the Portsmouth Corps.

Eisley explained that the only stipulation that came with the estate was that it had to be used to help people.

“Our work in the local community provides important and life-changing services for those most in need. Through this gift, we will focus on strengthening our resources, which enhance our ability to serve and provide meaningful transformation in the lives of those we serve,” Eisley said.

He also stated it is important to note that the endowment will be used to supplement traditional corps fundraising activities.

The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps recently started its annual kettle campaign with the goal of raising $80,000 to support corps programming.

Over the course of the Christmas season, the Portsmouth Corps will have kettles set up at Kroger of Portsmouth and Wheelersburg, Kmart in New Boston, Big Lots in Portsmouth, Walmart in New Boston and Deemers Market in Wheelersburg.

Eisley claimed that the Corps takes every donation seriously; even the smallest donations are of extreme importance.

“People would be surprised how much coin can add up; even if you drop in a penny it goes a long way. If everyone in Portsmouth would drop three or four dollars in the kettle, during the whole kettle season we would meet our goal,” Eisley said.

With the announcement of the endowment, Eisley acknowledged there may be some in the community that would question why the Salvation Army would need their money.

“Many people may think to themselves, ‘if the Salvation Army has all this money, why do they need my dollar?’ Plain and simple, we need donations to ensure that this marvelous gift can be used exclusively for helping people – just as Mrs. Wertz wanted – without having to worry about other costs,” Eisley said. “Generous donations give us the opportunity to further expand our services to address the ever-increasing needs of our community’s families.”

Eisley said the initial focus of the Corps will be to ensure they are best positioned and equipped to meet the needs of the community.

“Long term, this gift (endowment) will allow us to look at the broader needs that exist in the community, assess those that fit our mission, and develop and implement plans to address them. This process will benefit from the input of many supporters in the local community, whose continuing contributions of time, talent and resources will ensure that we are able to serve Portsmouth most effectively in the years to come. We look forward to sharing our plans and program enhancements,” Eisley said.

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

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