Dec 16, 2012

Christmas Drive making final push to meet or exceed 2012 goal

GREENVILLE – The 2012 Darke County Community Christmas Drive is doing well, but it will need a lot of generous support during the remaining weekend to match or exceed last year’s total of $29,691.09. According to Mike Boyer, Community Unity treasurer, the drive collected $14,496.53 over the first three weekends. The final two days for bell ringers at local businesses will be Dec. 21 and 22. Donations can typically be made between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., at 11 locations, including Kroger, KitchenAid Experience, Eikenberry’s IGA, Kmart, Walmart Supercenter, JC Penney, Big Lots, Greenville National Bank in Ansonia, Farmer’s State Bank in New Madison and Sutton’s Super Value in Arcanum.

The donations stay in Darke County and help those in need in various ways. Proceeds help to provide food vouchers for a large number of families. Voucher requests are received and distributed through Community Action Partnership. Last year, 181 families were assisted with groceries in the amount of $8,669.81. Others receiving funds through the Christmas Drive include FISH, Grace Resurrection Community Center, Community Unity and food banks in Ansonia, Arcanum and Castine.

The FISH Choice Pantry, 400 Markwith Ave., Greenville, is able to give emergency food help to eligible families every 28 days. In 2011, the organization helped 3,085 families with a total of 10,176 family members. They have served 2,677 families with 8,525 family members so far this year.

The Grace Resurrection Community Center, 433 E. Water St., Greenville, provides a Soup Kitchen, Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to noon; Food Bank on Mondays and Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.; and Clothing Bank on Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; along with referrals for medical and dental care. They are also coordinating the Back Pack Program to help Greenville City School students from Kindergarten to fifth grade with food. GRCC is grateful for the support that has allowed their Food Pantry to help an average of 391 households and 1,265 individuals each month in 2012.

Community Unity, located at the Grace Resurrection Community Center, helps with financial needs, including utilities, rent, and medical and emergency transportation. They gave $31,744.05 in assistance to 488 individuals representing 1,270 family members in 2011. So far this year, they have helped 334 clients with 672 members of those households.

The Castine Area Food Bank, comprised of nine churches, depends on the Christmas Drive for funds that help many people each month with groceries. In addition, they gave 96 dinners at Thanksgiving that helped 131 families with 403 people. Their preliminary numbers indicate they will be providing 100 Christmas dinners that will help 138 families with 426 people.

The food bank operating out of the Ansonia United Methodist Church assisted 248 people in 2010 and continued to help a large number of people in 2011 and 2012.

The food pantry of the Faith United Methodist Church in Arcanum has food assistance available Monday through Friday on a once a month basis by calling the church. There have been over 900 family members helped so far in 2012.

In addition to giving at any kettle location, donations can also be made to Darke County Community Christmas Drive, PO Box 74, Greenville, Ohio 45331. For more information, contact Co-Chairman Joseph Soley, 547-0533.

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