Monday, November 9, 2015

Local charities give back to the community

By: Krissa Scarberry

   It’s about winter time in the U.S., and what does that mean? Charities! Although most charities can be donated to year round, many local and national charities particularly help out during the winter months. Christmas is all about giving, so what better way to give than to ensure that everyone is safe and warm?
   When giving to charities, you always want to make sure that the one you choose is trustworthy, and that what you give actually goes toward what it is supposed to. The most efficient way to do this is to start with local charities.
   Around Ripley, there are many families that have difficulty purchasing things like food and warm clothes for the winter, and there are many charities here also that help out with just that.
   The Salvation Army, one of the most popular charities in West Virginia, is an international charity program that “meets human needs without discrimination.” The Salvation Army first began in 1852, when a man named William Booth embarked upon a ministerial career in England, to preach the gospel to the poor, the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute. Today, The Salvation Army is at work in 127 different countries, and provides services in 175 different languages. The Salvation Army supports things like Veterans Affairs, prison ministries, elderly services, hunger relief, housing and homeless services, and many more.
   Although The Salvation Army is Christian-based, ANYBODY can volunteer and ANYBODY can donate. Approximately 30 million people received help from the Salvation Army just last year. So all this raises the question, how CAN you help? That’s easy! Around Christmas, The Salvation Army is stationed in front of places like Wal-Mart, Kroger, Rite-Aid, etc. There you can drop some money in the bin, and it will be sure to go to a great cause. You can also volunteer to ring the bell at those places, or work at their shelter in Parkersburg.
   Apart from the bigger charities, there are also smaller charities around our quiet little town that help those closer to home.
   The Christmas Closet is a charity that originates right here in Ripley, or at least nine miles from Ripley. A program that started at Mill Creek Baptist Church, the Christmas Closet provides food, clothes, miscellaneous items, and toys to those around the community that can’t quite afford it themselves. People around all parts of Jackson County donate to this charity, and it continues to grow every single year.
    The Christmas Closet has one give-out day this year, December 5, where families can show up and register with their name, age, and how many people they have in their family. After registration they can roam the room freely, picking out any clothes, used toys, or miscellaneous items that they want, with no limit. While they are out and about, volunteers make food boxes that accommodate the size of the family, and pick out a NEW toy for each child in the family that is appropriate for their age. When they are ready to leave, their items are placed in bags, and the food boxes with toys are given to them. Items can be donated to this charity year round, and are greatly appreciated.
   Last year, just over 500 families came through, and received exactly what they needed to get through the winter.

   These are just two of the charities around Jackson County that can be donated to, and there are many many more programs that take part in providing help for the needy. There is no limit on giving, so make sure you look around for ways you can help!


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