DARKE COUNTY – A group of people gathered this week at Kroger’s in Greenville to launch the annual Darke County Community Christmas Drive this upcoming Yule season.
It will start after Thanksgiving, Nov. 23 and 24, with bell-ringers set to collect donations for this year at 11 different locations throughout the county. The efforts will continue on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, Dec. 7 and 8, Dec. 14 and 15 and Dec. 21 and 22.
At most locations, donations will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.
In Greenville, volunteers will be bell-ringing at The KitchenAid Experience, Eikenberry’s IGA and both entrances at Wal-Mart Supercenter. Contributions can also be made at Sutton’s Super Valu in Arcanum, The Greenville National Bank in Ansonia and the New Madison Mini Mart.
Donations will be collected at Kroger and Rural King for both the Salvation Army and the Darke County Community Christmas Drive. Funds going to the Salvation Army end up helping people locally through the Darke County office for Community Action Partnership.
Dave Knapp Ford Lincoln and the main office of Greenville Federal will also be collecting funds.
Churches helping with the bell-ringing include Coletown Christian, Greenville Missionary, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Paul’s Lutheran, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Bible Fellowship, First United Methodist, Stelvideo Christian, East Zion, Trinity Wesleyan, Greenville Church of the Brethren, Evangelical United Methodist, First Presbyterian, Beamsville Christian, Fort Jefferson, Cedar Grove, New Madison United Methodist Church, and First Universalist Church in New Madison.
The Castine Church of the Brethren, Arcanum Lions Club, Faith United Methodist and the Community of Faith Church will help with the effort in Arcanum while various churches help in Ansonia.
Organizations helping out include the Lions Club and Greenville National Bank in addition to the Rotary and Kiwanis, who cover all 10 days of the drive. Also collecting funds every day of the drive are the Oakland Church of the Brethren, St. John Lutheran Church and St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
The work of all these volunteers is greatly appreciated, said Co-Chairman Joseph Soley.
“Last year. people generously stepped up and gave the largest amount ever collected, $30,915.73, which went to help the good work of FISH, Community Unity, the Grace Resurrection Community Center at the Faith United Methodist Food Bank in Arcanum, the Ansonia United Methodist Food Bank and the Castine Area Food Bank,” the chairmen reported. “No money is paid to any of the volunteers and all of the proceeds remain in Darke County.”
In addition to the various locations around the area, donations can also be made to “Darke County Community Christmas Drive” at P.O. Box 412, Greenville, OH 45331 or by dropping off a donation to Community Christmas Drive Treasurer Mike Boyer at the main branch of the Greenville National Bank on South Broadway.
Any questions about the drive can be directed to Soley at 937-547-0533.
PHOTO CAPTION: Shown are Kroger Manager Cam Litz; Treasurer Mike Boyer; Chris Raffel, St. Mary’s Catholic Church; Terry Benge, Oakland COB; Margaret Craig, Faith United Methodist; Denny Miller, Cedar Grove; Mike Snyder, Kiwanis; Kristy Cutarelli, FISH; Co-Chairman Joe Soley; Carol Littman, Community Action Partnership; Doug Klinsing; Sharon Fellers, Greenville Resurrection Community Center and Castine Food Bank; Christy Bugher, United Way; Rev. Terry Cavanaugh, First United Methodist; Lisa Gasper, Ansonia United Methodist Church; and Pastor Jim Morehouse. (Linda Moody photo)