2021 Darke County Community Christmas Drive a success


Staff report

DARKE COUNTY — This past year’s Darke County Community Christmas Drive, which was a great success, was held in honor of the late Reverend Joseph Soley who served as the chairman of the drive for a number of years. Soley, who ministered with various congregations in the area in addition to serving as a chaplain at Wayne Healthcare, was passionate about the importance of the drive in helping countless individuals in our area who are less fortunate. Despite the challenges of a shortage of “bell ringers” and occasional nasty weather, the 2021 drive once again accomplished a great deal with a grand total of $36,172.39 being collected.

The total was the second-highest ever, displaying the tremendous generosity of the community. Besides the donations totaling $28,952.39 at the different bucket locations, there were generous private donations totaling $1,645, and several business donations totaling $5,575. The people of Darke County responded extremely well and their giving is truly appreciated.

The steering committee is grateful for the help of all the businesses that allowed collecting to take place. These locations included Wal-Mart Supercenter, Kroger, Eikenberry’s IGA, Rural King, Montage Cafe, Greenville Federal Bank, Ace Hardware, SVG Chevrolet, Dave Knapp Ford, Greenville National Bank in Ansonia, Dollar General in Arcanum, and the Mini Mart in New Madison.

Through these funds, the lives of many needy individuals in our community will be impacted in a very significant way. The contributions have been distributed to help support the good work of the Grace Resurrection Community Center and Community Unity, with each receiving $8,400, and the Fish Choice Pantry receiving $7,650. In addition, the ministries of the Faith United Methodist Food Bank in Arcanum, the Ansonia Community Food Bank, and the Castine Area Food Bank each received $2,800. The Salvation Army will receive half of the funds from Kroger and Rural King, totaling $4,366.56. All of the funds collected will remain in Darke County.

Special thanks go out to those who stood outside and braved the weather to collect donations. The efforts of all the churches, businesses, and service organizations who gave their time and energy for this outreach are greatly appreciated. The hospitality of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in the use of facilities for steering committee meetings is also appreciated. Frank Marchal and Pastors Mel Musser and Jim Morehouse, who are Co-Chairmen, wish to express their deep gratitude to all those who helped, including all of the steering committee members, Christmas Drive Treasurer Mike Boyer, and the staff at the Greenville National Bank main branch who collected and counted all the donations.

Any area churches or organizations wanting to be involved in the 2022 drive may call Frank Marchal at 937-569-1439. It is hoped that the funds collected will help many in our area struggling to get by and that this year’s 2022 drive will experience even greater success.

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