GROVE CITY – The Grove City Salvation Army Service Unit needs the community’s help in order to continue supporting residents in need.
“We want you to know we’re hear for you,” said Pastor Pam Schnelzer, chair of Grove City Salvation Army.
Volunteers have already spent several weekends ringing the bells for the annual Red Kettle Campaign, which continues on Fridays and Saturdays through Dec. 18 outside Walmart and County Market, both in Pine Township.
“That’s our prime time,” she said of the weekend, adding that kettle collections can be arranged for other days.
Kettle bell volunteers will also be set up for a few hours on Christmas Eve, and the Salvation Army Service Unit from Greenville often sets up kettles outside those two stores on weekdays.
“It helps so many families every year,” she said.
Anyone can help ring the bells to collect donations, most of which stay in the Grove City area. Entire families – Brian and Dorene Powell and their children Evan, Ella, Emmy and Zeke – are known to do it together as a way to give back, Schnelzer said.
Individuals like Ida Turner and her son Chris rings the bells in memory of their husband and father, the late Chris Turner, who loved to help with the campaign.
This year’s campaign is led by Darian Murray and Shanna Adams.
Salvation Army kettles have also been placed inside local businesses including Busy Beaver, Hovis Auto and Truck Supply and Coffaro’s Pizza, and Busy Beaver is asking customers to round up their purchase amount for a donation.
It is tremendous to have cooperation from businesses year after year, she said.
Donations fund a number of Salvation Army programs and services. Residents typically need help with utility bills, rent or medical expenses, and the organization helped 70 kids with back-to-school clothes this year.
The Salvation Army is also supported by the Grove City Area United Way and works with other nonprofits like the Christian Assistance Network and the Grove City Ministerium to meet the needs of the community.
Schnelzer has led outreach efforts to seniors at College View Towers, Grove Manor and Fellowship Manor with things like a farm market, gift cards, prayer and simply just being available to talk so they know they’re not alone.
“That means a lot to them,” she said.
Folks looking for other ways to help the community can contact the Salvation Army to “adopt” a family for Christmas, providing gifts for kids and necessities.
Grove City-area families in need can call the Salvation Army to ask about signing up for the program.
Schnelzer noted that the service unit is separate from the Salvation Army thrift store in town, but she can give people vouchers for the store.
To volunteer for kettles, contact darian or email firstname.lastname@example.org