BUCKHANNON — The Buckhannon Rotary club got an update about the Salvation Army and how their holiday season went.
Sharla Smith, the service unit director for the Upshur County Salvation Army gave a rundown of the Salvation Army’s effort throughout the community during the last few months. Smith said she wanted to let everyone know where the money goes that is donated in Upshur county.
“I want to make sure that everyone knows that the monies that are collected in Upshur County whether they're mailed into the processing center or the kettle or dropped off at our local store they actually do stay in Upshur County,” Smith said. “They service only Upshur County and I wanted to make sure everyone knew that.”
She said the Salvation Army teamed up with Celebrate Recovery to provide Thanksgiving meals to people who needed them.
“We decided we were going to present Celebrate Recovery with a $500 check and they produced 50 to 75 Thanksgiving boxes with complete meals,” Smith said. “We also donated 50 cans of green beans and corn for the boxes as well so the boxes were complete, they didn’t need anything to complete the boxes.”
Smith said the Salvation Army also partnered with Misty Post, of the Zachary Post Memorial Food Drive to provide 15 meals to families who did not receive them from the Parish House or Celebrate Recovery.
Smith said there is community dinner in Clarksburg for Thanksgiving and Christmas that residents of Upshur County attend.
“I will say that Upshur County is represented, we have people who come to the salvation army up in Clarksburg and they do eat dinner and socialize,” Smith said.
She said the kettle season lasted for 32 days this year and all the money earned stays in Upshur County to stock the pantry, aid with utilities, dentures, glasses, funeral expenses, new job start up and other emergency needs upon approval, but there were a few problems.
“We had a rougher kettle season than usual because we were unable to ring a Kroger,” Smith said. “I had lots of phone calls asking why we weren’t ringing at Kroger. Kroger passed down a nationwide United States law that we had to be 20 feet from the front door.”
Smith said this led to trying new spots for the kettles and that they also had trouble finding people to watch the kettles this year.
“However, we were blessed with two very generous kettle donations from two local businesses and that actually allowed us to have a better year than last year,” Smith said.
She said the Angel Tree Program was not as busy this year, but she said this can be a good thing.
“Our angel tree program was down a little bit, which I see as a blessing,” Smith said. “Some people think that’s rude but the pipeline came through and offered a lot of people jobs and gave them the opportunity to stand on their own two feet without needing assistance.”