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Volunteers and shoppers enjoy Christmas Castle project

| December 12, 2017

Lydia Whittaker and Grace Staton show off the matching outfits they selected while taking part in The Salvation Army’s Christmas Castle shopping day on Dec. 11. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – Ruth Stockum is very appreciative of The Salvation Army’s Christmas Castle project.

“It helps out a lot, especially with teenagers,” she said.

Her 14-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter were two of almost 400 children who participated in The Salvation Army’s shopping days Dec. 11-12 at Wal-Mart. Volunteers took children ages 6-18 signed up for the Christmas Castle project around Wal-Mart and helped them pick out a winter coat, boots or shoes, clothing for school, socks and undergarments. Each participant was allowed to spend up to $80 and their shopping buddy helped them pick out what they were most in need of and did their best to make the money stretch.

Captain Victoria Clark from The Salvation Army said their goal was to raise $29,000 for the Christmas Castle, but they passed that with just under $31,000. The community also turned out to show its support by volunteering for the shopping days.

“There is no way I could shop for close to 400 children by myself or even with the help of my staff,” Clark said. “We have a lot of new volunteers too this year. Bruce Wallace sent out letters to corporations in the community asking for volunteers and many people replied. I’m so grateful for the volunteers.”

This was Shanna Patterson’s first year volunteering.

“My boss at Interim asked if I’d be interested in doing it and I had co-workers who did it before tell me it was a blast,” she said. “I loved the excitement of the kids and would absolutely do it again. It was very humbling.”

Patterson was able to assist three or four families and said the kids got excited about simple things like new socks and sports bras.

Daniel Vogel was looking forward to picking up a new hat and Lydia Whittaker and Grace Staton were excited to show off the matching outfits they picked out.

“It’s nice of the volunteers to do this with us,” Vogel said as he tried on different pairs of boots.

Tom Dile is a long time volunteer at the Christmas Castle shopping days.

“Most of the kids really appreciate this and are real nice,” he said.

Dile attends church at The Salvation Army and so do Kayla Jones’ children, who went shopping with volunteers.

“They (Clark and her husband Tom) are very supportive,” Jones said. “The kids go to church with them and do a lot of different activities there and have a lot of fun. They’ve been really excited about getting to go shopping.”

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About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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