GREENVILLE – After the first six days of the Darke County Community Christmas Drive, the collections stand at $15,037.67 very close to the $15,020.74 that had been donated at this point in 2018. While the giving has been generous and greatly appreciated, if the drive hopes to hit last year’s total of $32,091.61 there will have to be a lot collected over the last four days, which are Friday and Saturday, Dec. 20 and 21, Monday, Dec. 23 and up until noon on Tuesday, Dec. 24.
This year supporters can give online in addition to donating at any of the 13 donation buckets or to Treasurer Mike Boyer at the main branch of the Greenville National Bank or by mail to the East Main Church of Christ at P.O. Box 867, Greenville, Ohio 45331. Those giving online can do so through the Fish Choice Food Pantry. To give online, one starts by going to fishofdarke.org and then clicking on “Donate” and then on “Donate” again. Then simply enter the amount of the contribution and click on either “Donate with PayPal” or “Donate with Debit or Credit Card”. For those giving through PayPal, go to “Add a Note” and indicate that the gift is designated for the “Darke County Community Christmas Drive”. For those giving through a debit or credit card, when filling out the form click on “Write A Note” and indicate the donation is for the “Darke County Community Christmas Drive” before hitting “Donate Now”.
All of the funds given to the Christmas Drive stay in Darke County and go to help the good work of the Grace Resurrection Community Center, Fish, Community Unity, the Salvation Army and the food banks in Ansonia, Arcanum and the Castine Area.
In 2019, the Fish Choice Pantry had volunteers serving 2,763 hours as they assisted 2,031 households including over 6,000 individuals. They made 285 home deliveries and received over 55,500 lbs of food donations. The Castine Area Food Bank – an emergency food bank that assists those living in southern Darke County – handed out its annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner meals and helped 105 families (341 individuals) at Thanksgiving and 115 families (361 individuals) for Christmas. These families were also recipients of food at some point during the year. So far this year, the Ansonia United Methodist Food Pantry has served 954 people with 1,160 bags of food and given $6,920 in vouchers for meat, produce and dairy products. In Arcanum the Food Pantry operated by the Faith United Methodist Church has provided food to more than 600 individuals as they also supply food vouchers to those in need as they work in cooperation with Sutton’s Super Value in Arcanum. Margaret Craig feels fortunate that clients may get food once a month due to the generous help of the food drives sponsored by the Arcanum Schools, the Boy Scouts and, of course, the Community Christmas Drive.
The Grace Resurrection Community Center and Community Unity, located inside the GRCC building, continue to see large numbers of clients from the community in need of help. GRCC has regular grocery distributions on Monday and Thursday evenings that clients may make use of twice a month. They also provide free lunches Monday through Thursday and offer free clothing on Thursdays. Community Unity has seen their numbers going up yet again this year as increasing numbers of clients are seeking the financial assistance that they offer which includes help with rent, utilities, medical needs and gas cards for emergency out-of-county transportation. The number of homeless individuals that are in need continues to rise.
Any donation given to the Christmas Drive is greatly appreciated and any questions about the drive can be directed to Co-Chairman Frank Marchal at 937-569-1439.