Community Christmas Drive needs help


GREENVILLE — After the first six days of the Darke County Community Christmas Drive, Treasurer Mike Boyer reports the total collections are $16,823.26. While that’s a good amount, it’s hoped that on the few days of the drive people will be especially generous in order to help those in need in our community through a number of good organizations. Additional dates for the Christmas Drive are Dec. 16, 21 and 22.

Among the organizations assisted through the drive is the Castine Area Food Bank (CAFB) which is open on Tuesdays from 2-4 p.m. Residents in the Arcanum, Franklin Monroe and Tri- Village School districts along with the Villages of West Manchester and Eldorado may get food once a month. As of Dec. 1, CAFB has spent $10,952 including $4,875 spent helping 60 families at Thanksgiving which is approximately the same amount that will be helped for Christmas.

In 2022, Community Unity served 1,111 people in 515 households with $77,784.99 in assistance. $53,030 went for temporary housing in motels for people who were homeless. An additional $24,754.99 was spent to assist with utilities, rent, food, prescription medications, fuel for medical appointments or to start a job. This year, through August, they have helped 636 people with $42,932.43.

So far in 2023, the Ansonia Community Food Bank has served 670 people with 399 of them receiving groceries. They also distributed $1,080 in vouchers.

The Arcanum Faith Food Pantry at the Faith United Methodist Church in Arcanum has served the community for over 30 years. During the past 11 months, they have served 395 adults, 300 children and distributed 970 bags of non-perishable foods along with each order receiving a bag of frozen food and a bag of refrigerated food. They also have pre-packed bags that can be passed out in an emergency. Approximately $10,000 has been spent by the Arcanum congregation to support the food pantry along with the assistance of food drives by local schools, which have helped immensely. Requests for food are taken on Wednesdays from 9-11 a.m. and pick up is Thursdays from 9-11 a.m. Additional food pantry activities include filling Arcanum’s Blessing Box twice a week, providing food to the Greenville Women’s shelter bi-monthly, donating a weekly snack to the Little University preschool housed in their church and providing a tub of food and a ham to the Christmas families adopted by the Arcanum Faith Church.

The local Service Unit of the Salvation Army is housed at the Community Action Partnership (CAP) Office at 1469 Sweitzer Street in Greenville. Among the services the Salvation Army offers is providing vouchers for fresh produce to low income senior citizens with their monthly food boxes which are provided by CAP. In the past year, approximately 20 to 30 seniors received fresh produce each month totaling around $2,850 for the year. The Salvation Army, whose kettle is located at Kroger in Greenville, is a grateful partner with CAP and the local Community Christmas Drive. They, like each of those helped through the Christmas Drive, thank all of those who donate in order to help fund the important work of all these efforts assisting so many who are struggling to get by.

Any questions about the drive can be directed to Co-Chairmen Frank Marchal at 937-569-1439, Mel Musser at 937-626-7100 or Jim Morehouse at 937-547-1557.

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