By Wayne Allen
The Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps started their annual kettle campaign a little over a week ago, with the goal of raising $80,000. Funds raised during the campaign fund corps activities all year long.
Lieutenant Jeremiah Eisley, Salvation Army Portsmouth, Corps Officer said even though they did not have a public ceremony, the community has been generous in its response.
“We’ve seen very generous folks in this short period of time (since the campaign started). We don’t doubt that Portsmouth and Scioto County will come through for us again,” Eisley said. “Our goal for this year’s campaign is $80,000. Since Wednesday, we have made $7,000, we’re doing alright. We know that times are tight for people and discretionary dollars are hard to find these days.”
He said in some cases when a dollar goes into the kettle its used as soon as the next day to feed or clothe people.
Eisley said at the Salvation Army Portsmouth Corps they work to solve community problems.
“We see the problems of the community everyday and I’m blessed and honored the community looks to the Salvation Army to address these issues,” Eisley said.
With the current state of the local, state and national economy more people are turning to the Salvation Army for help.
“Just about every time you turn on the T.V. or open the newspaper, you hear of a company laying-off or closing its doors. We’ve had consistently more people this year, apply for seasonal help, a seasonal meal or the toys we give away for Christmas,” Eisley said.
Eisley acknowledged that asking for help for the first time can be awkward.
“If your back is against the wall, if you don’t know what you’re going to do this year. We can do our best to help you,” Eisley said.
Eisley said because of everything going on within the corps, the five day a week meal program had to be moved to a mobile canteen.
“We run a five day a week hot meal program and we’re tight with space right now we’ve started serving food from our mobile canteen. This way we’re able to use the building as best as we can for Christmas time,” Eisley said.
Eisley said they did not want to do away with the meal program because the community would suffer without it.
Over the course of the Christmas season the Salvation Army 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 said 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.
Those seeking or need assistance during the Christmas season will have one more opportunity to signup. The corps will hold one more emergency signup for services on Nov. 30 from 1-3 p.m. at 1001 Ninth Street in Portsmouth.
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