Salvation Army spreads holiday cheer to more than 500 families

| December 17, 2021

Mother of two, Brandy was shopping with her daughter at Wal-Mart with the Christmas Castle. (Marianne Austin)

Victoria Clark of the Salvation Army said they have been doing Christmas Castle for many years and continue to provide financial assistance in the community for families in the Coshocton County area who are having a difficult financial setback especially in the pandemic days.

“Many families this year were effected by COVID whether they lost work hours, or they had medical setbacks due to it,” she said. “They reached out to the Salvation Army, and we have been able to help them. Our process is they can apply for assistance in October and November either online or come in and fill out an application. Either way, they had to sign up for the Christmas Castle program.”

The Salvation Army served children from newborn or before they’re born all the way up to 18 years of age. Each child gets $75 for ages 6 to 18-years-old and 5 years and younger (angels) get $50.

“They can get clothes that they need and shoes or boots,” Clark said. “We have been able to serve 252 angels and the children 6-18 was 485 for a total of 737. Our community was very generous to surpass our goal of $50,000 with an additional $5,000 and donations and pledges are still coming in. We are living in a very generous community. We could never do this without the donations from our donors, the businesses and individuals in our town. We are very fortunate to be recipients of that generosity. Not only can we provide clothing but also a gift certificate for food so they can go shopping and we are fortunate to have a great partnership with Buehler’s.”

This year they had 396 families with children and families without children was 132 which is a total of 528 families helped just in a three week period in December.

“Our numbers have risen significantly since 2019 due to where we are in our economy,” Clark said. “Groceries are still very costly. We are grateful to have that opportunity to support families and embrace them during these difficult days. We are very grateful that we have that opportunity. Thank you Beacon for being our voice and getting our information out there and promoting the things that we do. WTNS starts the Christmas Castle Campaign the day after Thanksgiving and Mike Bechtol wants to hit that goal every single year. I don’t know how he does it, but he is a person of influence. He knows how to get people to dig deep in their pockets and pulls on their heartstrings to make those pledges. And every single year he gets that goal accomplished. WTNS is a great partner.”

Mother of two, Brandy was shopping with her daughter at Wal-Mart with the Christmas Castle. “I appreciate the Christmas Castle because without them I wouldn’t be able to get my kids a whole lot,” she said. “I found a whole lot of things both for my son and my daughter that they asked for. I picked out clothes for my son and my daughter is with me, so I hope he likes what I picked out.”

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