GREENVILLE — The Darke County Community Christmas Drive has wrapped up another season of giving to those in need in the community, with more than $30,000 collected.
Darke County Community Christmas Drive Co-Chair Jim Morehouse said, “While giving the giving in 2016 was great, the 2017 Darke County Community Christmas Drive was an even bigger success as a grand total of $30,915.73 was collected to help the needy in our community,” noting last year’s total was $30,427.75.
“Besides the donations totaling $31,035.08, at the 11 different ‘bell ringing’ locations, there were very generous private donations totalling $3,967, from: Eikenberry’s IGA, the Stelvideo Christian Church and several individual donors.”
“The people of Darke County responded very well and their giving is truly appreciated. The help of all the businesses that allowed collecting to take place is greatly appreciated. Those locations include both entrances of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, Kroger, Eikenberry’s IGA, Rural King, KitchenAid Experience, Dave Knapp Ford, Greenville Federal Bank, Greenville National Bank in Ansonia, Super Valu in Arcanum and the Mini Mart, in New Madison. Mart in New Madison. A big ‘Thank You’ goes out to Troy Sunshade for generously providing new aprons for this past year,” Morehouse added.
Morehouse said the lives of many less fortunate Darke County residents will be impacted in a very significant way.
“The contributions have been distributed to help support the good work of FISH, the Grace Resurrection Community Center and Community Unity (each receiving $5,665) and the Salvation Army in addition to the ministries of the Faith United Methodist Food Bank in Arcanum, the Ansonia United Methodist Food Bank and the Castine Area Food Bank (each receiving $1,888.33),” he said.
Thanks go out to the Salvation Army who worked with the Community Christmas Drive at Kroger and Rural King. Their half of the funds, totaling $4,159.59 collected at the stores will remain in Darke County. Special thanks go out to those who stood outside in the cold weather and to all the community churches, businesses and service organizations who gave their time and energy to this outreach. Pastors Joseph Soley, John Person and Jim Morehouse, who are co-chairmen, wish to express their deep gratitude to all those involved in helping, including all of the steering committee members, Christmas Drive Treasurer Mike Boyer and the staff at the Greenville National Bank main branch.
Darke County Community Christmas Drive Treasurer Mike Boyer said he attributes the increase in donations to a better economy and to more people having jobs. He also said the people involved with the charity have a passion for service.
“Especially within the county, people are willing to help those who are less fortunate,”Boyer said. “It is a generous giving community.”
Darke County Community Christmas Drive Co-Chairman John Person said: “People probably realize the need is great too. Even though the economy is growing, a number of people are still in that gap of people that still need jobs. Service is at the heart of what rotary is all about. The other reason I am involved is that I am a Christian, and that is a part of our calling too; to serve, especially those in need.”
Darke County Community Christmas Drive Co-Chairman Joe Soley said: “I have been involved with the Darke County Community Christmas Drive for about 17 years. Another word that comes to mind is ‘grace.’ There is always someone can’t make it, and helping them along, if it all comes out in the wash, that is grace.”
Any area churches or organizations wanting to be involved in the 2018 drive may call Rev. Soley at 937-547-0533. It is hoped that the funds collected through this past year’s Christmas Drive will help a lot of families in the area struggling to get by, and the coming year’s drive will experience even greater success.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com
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