The new leaders of the Salvation Army of Delaware County are busy rallying the troops to prepare for the organization’s Christmas initiative.
Captains Mark and Stephanie Larrick are the new commanding officers and pastors at the Delaware Worship and Community Center at Greenwood Lake Camp. They have been leading the local organization since the end of June. Originally from Muskingum County, the Larricks came to Delaware after serving with the Salvation Army in Toledo and North Baltimore.
With the holiday season fast approaching, the Salvation Army staff has been working to organize the Christmas Assistance Program. Mark Larrick said the program is designed to meet the various needs of Delaware County residents who need help during the holiday season.
“One of the primary things that we assist with is a food box for the household,” he said. “It provides a lot of food to help them through that month or so. There’s also our Angel Tree program and Adopt A Family. We look at the families as a whole and want to make sure the kids receive something for Christmas. Through the generosity of our donors, we’re able to help provide that.”
Larrick said the Salvation Army is currently accepting applications from families in need for the Christmas Assistance Program at its Greenwood Lake Camp location, 340 Lake St., Delaware. Applicants can register from 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 4-5, and from 1 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 9.
Applicants need to have the following items on hand at the time of registration: Identification for all adults in the household; birth certificates for children under age 18; proof of residency (current utility bill or lease agreement); and proof of income for the household. For more information, call 740-369-5301.
The distribution date for the Christmas Assistance Program is Dec. 17 at Greenwood Lake Camp.
According to Larrick, the Salvation Army has served about 150 Delaware County families per year through the Christmas Assistance Program. That figure includes some 80 children per year.
Larrick noted that the Salvation Army coordinates with People in Need Inc. of Delaware County (PIN) to ensure that there is as little overlap as possible in the applicants who are served during the Christmas season.
“These are unique names as much as possible, because we check the list against the list that PIN provides us,” he said. “That way we can try to make sure as many people in Delaware County that do have a need can receive help.”
Larrick said the Salvation Army welcomes help from groups and individuals willing to adopt families or individual children to help during the Christmas season.
“What that simply means is that they would take care of the food and/or the toys for that family,” he said. “If that’s not the direction they want to go, there’s also the opportunity to select a couple of the kids that have come through the application process.”
Area residents interested in making donations to the Salvation Army for the Christmas Assistance Program, can drop off items at the service center from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. weekdays. Larrick said donors will receive a receipt for their donation.
Larrick said other services offered through the Delaware Worship and Community Center include emergency assistance for some utilities, a food pantry and summer camp for children ages 7-12.
“Folks can access the food pantry once a month,” Larrick said. “Our goal is to provide three meals a day for three days for each member of the household. The summer camp is located at our larger camp near Cincinnati.”
Andrew Carter can be reached at 740-413-0902 and on Twitter @AndrewCarterDG.