DARKE COUNTY — Despite the challenges associated with the pandemic, the 2020 Darke County Community Christmas Drive was quite successful once again as there was a grand total of $43,566.54 collected. The total was the highest ever, surpassing the previous high of $32,091.61 in 2018.
Besides the donations totaling $28,240.46 at the different “bell ringing” locations, there were very generous private donations totaling $6,461.74 and several business donations totaling $8,864.34. 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 include both entrances of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, Kroger, Eikenberry’s IGA, Rural King, Montage Cafe, Greenville Federal Bank, Ace Hardware, SVG Chevrolet, Greenville National Bank in Ansonia, Orme Hardware in Arcanum, and the Mini Mart in New Madison where the Cedar Grove Church of the Brethren helped in collecting donations.
Because of the generous giving of many Darke County residents, the lives of many less fortunate in our community 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 $9,753.75) and the Salvation Army in addition to the ministries of the Faith United Methodist Food Bank in Arcanum, the Ansonia Community Food Bank and the Castine Area Food Bank (each receiving $3,251.25). The Salvation Army, who worked with the Community Christmas Drive at Kroger and Rural King, will receive half of the funds from those stores totaling $4,550.73. All of the funds collected at these locations will remain in Darke County.
Special thanks go out to those who stood outside and braved the weather and to all the churches, businesses and service organizations who gave their time and energy for this outreach. The kindness of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in using their 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 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 who collected and counted all the donations.
It is hoped that the funds collected through this past year’s Christmas Drive will help many of the families in our area struggling to get by, especially due to the Coronavirus, and that this year’s drive will experience even greater success. Any area churches or organizations wanting to be involved in the 2021 drive may call Frank Marchal at 937-569-1439.